Arab-British Chamber of Commerce10.12.2018

We took some time to get to know Dr. Lamya Al-Imara, who is a Membership Officer at The Arab-British Chamber of Commerce.

When you were a girl what did you see yourself doing as an adult? I always wanted to be a Doctor.

Please give a brief outline of your career to date. BSc Biologist, MSc Immunology, Ph.D. Applied Immunology, MSc in Hospital Management, Grant Manager in Cancer Care for Children, a charity offering financial support to families with Children suffering from cancer.

What does your chamber role look like? My role is a very challenging and exciting role.  Every day is different with regards to the demands of members. As Membership Officer of the Chamber, I am responsible for the recruitment of new members and the retention of existing ones; both tasks are equally important and sensitive. In many ways, you can say I am the face of the Chamber, as I am the main point of contact with members whom I am in constant communication with.  Although I am mainly based at the Mayfair office, I also participate in meetings, exhibitions, Forums, Conferences and Trade Fairs where I meet new potential companies to recruit and promote the Chamber’s services.

What motivates you? I derive enormous satisfaction from recruiting new members. Having recruited them, I feel I have a personal obligation to support them in achieving their business goals by fully utilising the Chamber’s range of services. I am fully committed to the Chamber’s ethic which views trade and doing business as important means of strengthening the friendship between the British and Arab people.

Why are you passionate about SMEs? SMEs are the bedrock of any flourishing economy and are generally very innovative in the way that they approach business. SMEs possess enormous potential for growth and it is the most fulfilling part of the work we do at the Chamber when we are able to assist small businesses to achieve success in the Arab markets and vice versa. I am personally always delighted to learn that our services and support have provided practical help to our members in enabling them to grow and win new business in the Arab markets. This is how we can make a difference.

If you could take one thing to a desert island what would it be? My earrings as cannot leave home without them.

What are some of the risks of trade now? In my view, the main risks to trade today come from the rise in protectionist policies of governments around the world leading to the imposition of tariffs on goods. This imposes a greater burden on exporters and contributes towards market uncertainties which are bad for business.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing business in the UK?The UK is one of the world’s leading economic hubs and has always been a trading nation. It is renowned for its innovation in various commercial fields and has a lot to offer investors. The current uncertainties surrounding the UK’s relationship with the European Union is potentially the main disadvantage of doing business with the UK currently, but hopefully this is only going to be temporary.

What do you think are the main implications for Trade following Brexit?The UK Government plans that once it leaves the EU, the UK will develop new free trade deals with its main trading partners including the Arab Countries. Potentially, there could be great opportunities for the UK in forming closer business partnerships with the Gulf countries and the rest of the Arab world after Brexit, which have long had exceptionally good relations with the UK.