Dr. Herbert Stepic, Honorary President of the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and Chairman of the Board of Management of Raiffeisen Bank International AG, one of the leading banking groups in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Austria’s second-largest lender, said on Thursday May 22 2014 that the fundamentalists who exist in Arab countries do not represent Islam, Muslims nor the Arab countries.
Dr. Stepic was speaking at the closing session and gala dinner of the AACC 25th Anniversary and the 7th Arab-Austrian Economic Forum and Exhibition held in Vienna at the Vienna City Hall.
The Event was attended by dozens of influential Austrian personalities, the Ambassadors of Arab countries to Austria as well as representatives of Austrian and Arab companies, businessmen, professors, politicians and honour guests.
Among the renowned personalise in attendance were H.E. Dr. Wolfgang Brandstetter, Austrian Minister of Justice, Austrian Minister of Justice Mag. Renate Brauner, Vice-Mayor and Vice Governor of Vienna, Senator Dr. Richard Schenz, President of AACC; Ambassador Ezzeldin Ramzi, head of the mission of the league of Arab States in Austria; Adnan Kassar, president of the General Union of Arab Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture; Karl Heinz Kopf, ÖVP, deputy speaker of the Austrian National Council; Abdullah Al-Mogbel, Mayor and Governor of the city of Riyadh in Saudia Arabia; Mustafa Osman, Minister for Investments in Sudan; Dr. Nabil Kuzbari, founder and the vice-president of AACC; Dr. Suleiman Al-Herbish, director general of the OPEC Fund and International Development OFID; DI Edith Klauser, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management of Austria; Mag. Pierre Prunis, Commercial Counsellor of Austria to Oman and Yemen; Austrian Parliamentarian and DI. Omar Al-Rawi,
Senator Dr. Stepic gave a speech in which he spoke about the most important points that qualify an individual to become president of an economic institution or the AACC.
In his speech, he praised the wisdom of Arab businessmen whom he had the pleasure of meeting in Arab countries. He said that he has been able to learn lots from them, one of the salient pieces of wisdom being that business relations are always entered into with people whom one likes, as nobody engages in business with people whom they do not like.
He added: “I spent the first 10 years of my career predominantly in North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf countries. Besides business and trade we were always aiming at covering culture, social work, know-how transfer and human relations.
He said: “From my view, the development at human relations is still a key function of the organization, particular in times of enormous change processes happening in emerging markets and in particular in the Arab World.
He concluded his speech saying that the extremists and fundamentalists who exist in Arab countries, because of the many current conflicts and political situation, do not represent Islam, Muslims nor the Arab countries.