Lawyer and Middle East business expert Hugh Fraser has been inducted into a global networking initiative set up to help Scottish firms break international markets.
The Aberdonian has joined Globalscot and hopes to help companies with roots in North Sea oil and gas to grow their business in the region where he is now based.
It comes just weeks after Mr Fraser announced plans to relaunch his business – HFI Consulting International – in August after spending the past four years as managing partner of the Dubai offices of global law firm Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP.
Mr Fraser has been helping companies grow in the Middle East and North Africa for the past 20 years, and has developed an extensive knowledge of the region’s business and legal structures. HFI Consulting International will specialise in the planning and execution of business expansion projects for companies with advanced technology and know-how in the energy industry and water sector.
Globalscot is an initiative set up by Scottish Enterprise 16 years ago and comprises business leaders, entrepreneurs and executives with a connection to Scotland. They all aim to use their skills and knowledge to help companies operating in a range of industries succeed on the international stage.
Mr Fraser says, “It is a huge honour to be part of the Globalscot network and I am looking forward to giving Scottish companies guidance on how to grow in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Internationalisation can be an intense and time-consuming process – especially in a region with very different structures and cultures – so it’s essential that companies have access to the right kind of help.
“The Middle East and North Africa have become a cornerstone of many internationalisation strategies and while there continues to be many opportunities in these regions, there also strong prospects for emerging markets.
“There are opportunities for our companies to add significant value in a growing number of countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
“Although I have been based in the United Arab Emirates for well over a decade, the majority of businesses I have worked with have their origins in the North Sea. As a proud Scot, it has given me great satisfaction to see so many Scottish companies succeeding overseas but there is still much to be done in reducing the rate of failures and increasing our rates of success.”
In addition to the base in Dubai, HFI Consulting International will have offices in Aberdeen, Amsterdam and Saudi Arabia and will expand its scope by drawing upon the skills of a network of specialist consultants and in-country legal experts.
Mr Fraser was presented with his Globalscot accreditation by David Rennie, head of oil and gas at Scottish Enterprise, He says, “We are delighted to welcome Hugh to the Globalscot network.
“We have already worked with him over a number of years and I know that his knowledge of key overseas markets, his willingness to help Scottish companies through advice and guidance, and his own networks and connections will play an important role in assisting Scotland to promote itself on the global stage.
“We are really pleased that Hugh has agreed to become a Globalscot and we look forward to working with him in the years ahead.”