Last weekend, my children sat me down and asked me, in all seriousness:
"What exactly is the CEBC?"
I felt this was an easy enough question to answer. Relieved, I launched into a long diatribe on the importance of facilitating strong bilateral relations between Canada and Egypt , and the need to create a forum that fosters and furthers mutual dialogue and support. It was then that I noticed the blank faces looking back at me.
It is never easy, as a father, to be cornered by your offspring. But, in this instance, the point they were (unintentionally) making was a good one. There is no need for long convoluted sentences to describe the role of the CEBC. The function of our NGO is as simple as the need for it is great.
In today's global economy, commercial ties between two countries are often the cornerstone, on which other links, whether cultural or political, rely. That creates a crucial role for Non-Governmental Organizations, such as our own, to ensure that these important bilateral ties are well looked after. It is our job to act as a primary resource and facilitator on behalf of the business communities in both Canada and Egypt , helping them to understand one another, communicate openly and achieve the right access and support to achieve successful business together.
This is the basic premise of the CEBC and one that we have translated into a number of core goals for our organization.
As an NGO, we aim to encourage and facilitate a business lobby; That means acting as vehicle for the private sector to formulate its concerns, developing these into clear messages that are lobbied with the relevant authorities.
Another prime objective is to facilitate networking; through our events and activities we bring together members of the Canadian and Egyptian business communities and creating endless opportunities for interaction.
Finally, we provide access; that means we serve as a 'two-way door' between the Egyptian business community and Canadian Government resources. It also means we support Canadian companies and delegations looking for an entry point into the Egyptian market, and do the same for their Egyptian counterparts seeking markets in Canada .
It only remains for me to welcome you to the CEBC web site. Browse through the pages, and you'll see just how much has been happening. CEBC has been busy in the last quarter, delivering on all our goals, as an association, through a tight program of seminars and events. For those of you who have kept up with our busy schedule, you will know that our events have been extremely well attended and have received much positive coverage in the press.
I hope you will participate actively in the many initiatives planned for the coming quarters. After all this is your organization, and it is only as effective and encompassing as you chose to make it.
I look forward to seeing you all very soon