Joe Hepworth

Director Middle East | OCO Global

An experienced economic development, international trade and foreign investment advisor, Joe is Middle East Director of OCO Global and is the founder of OCO’s UAE subsidiary, the British Centres for Business (BCB), which was established in Dubai in 2013 and acquired by OCO Global in 2017.

With a first-class Honours degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Hull in his home country of England, Joe’s previous career includes 10 years in the container shipping industry with P&O Nedlloyd & Maersk Line in senior commercial roles in China, Russia, India, Holland and Sweden.

Joe moved to the UAE in 2008 and subsequently managed hundreds of inward investment and market entry projects in the region as General Manager for The Links Group, before working with the British Government to found the BCB in 2013, providing market-entry incubator and support services to overseas companies in the UAE.

Overseeing the BCB’s acquisition by OCO, Joe became OCO’s Middle East Director in March 2017. With responsibilities across all market sectors and multiple regional countries, Joe oversees trade and export support projects across the region and is responsible for delivering the company’s investment attraction services in the region. He also lead’s the company’s economic development consulting team for the GCC.

As part of Joe’s work with OCO, he holds a number of other important client representational roles in the Middle East. He is Director for Missouri Department of Economic Development in the Middle East; Regional Director for IDA Ireland; Middle East Director for the Connected Places Catapult and has managed the UK’s Department of International Trade regional delivery contract since 2013.

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