U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council Holds Annual Board Meeting in Abu DhabiFebruary 19, 2019
Leaders of key U.S. and and U.A.E. companies convened on Tuesday, February 19th at the Rosewood Abu Dhabi for the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council’s Annual Board of Directors meeting. Led by Co-Chairmen H.E. Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO & CEO, Alternative Investments & Infrastructure, Mubadala Investment Company, and Mr. Marc Allen, President, Boeing International, as well as U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President, Danny Sebright, the meeting charted the 2019 work and policy agenda for the Business Council, and highlighted U.S. member companies working in the U.A.E. technology sector. The meeting also featured presentations from noted public sector officials, including U.A.E. Ministry of Economy, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade & Industry, H.E. Abdulla Alsaleh, and Mr. Steven Bondy, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
Mr. Sebright welcomed the distinguished attendees, emphasizing the Business Council’s mission in support of the U.S.-U.A.E. bilateral trade and commercial relationship. Mr. Sebright noted the Business Council’s growing membership ranks, and its successful engagement with key stakeholders across multiple strategic U.S. and U.A.E. business verticals, including education, healthcare and technology.
L to R: Mr. Saud al Nowais, Commercial Counselor for the U.A.E. to the United States, U.A.E. Embassy in Washington, H.E. Abdulla Alsaleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade & Industry, U.A.E. Ministry of Economy, Mr. Steven Bondy, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi, Mr. Danny Sebright, President, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, H.E. Waleed Al Muhairi, Deputy CEO, Mubadala Investment Company, Mr. Marc Allen, President, Boeing International
H.E. Al Muhairi and Mr. Allen reviewed the current global business climate, with special emphasis on business relationships between the U.S. and U.A.E. Both also offered insights on the growing importance of China as a consideration in the global business environment. As well, both stressed the significance of supporting the growth of the U.A.E.’s knowledge economy.
His Excellency Al Muhairi stated that, “the U.S.’s role as the U.A.E.’s foundational partner in building the economy has only grown.” And further, “Mubadala continues to double down on its significant portfolio investments in the U.S., going from strength to strength in its growth there.”
Mr. Allen highlighted the longstanding ties between Boeing and its U.A.E. partners, “Boeing has enjoyed a strong and cooperative relationship with the U.A.E. for more than 40 years. We value our partnerships with its aerospace industry, airlines, the U.A.E. Armed Forces, universities and non-profit organizations and are committed to building on those relationships into the future.”
Mr. Bondy then gave an overview of the state of the U.S.-U.A.E. bilateral relationship, which was followed by a presentation on the U.A.E.’s U.S. public diplomacy and commercial strategy, given by Ms. Hagir Elawad, Congressional Affairs Advisor to Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, and Mr. Saud al Nowais, Commercial Counselor for the U.A.E. to the United States at the U.A.E. Embassy in Washington.
Subsequently, the group enjoyed a presentation on U.A.E. venture capital investments in the U.S. by Mr. Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Ventures at the Mubadala Investment Company. This was followed by an overview of the U.A.E. technology landscape, led by senior executives of Business Council members, Amazon, Facebook, HPE, Google, and VMware.
His Excellency Alsaleh detailed the U.A.E.’s new foreign direct investment (FDI) policies, the projected impacts on U.S. companies operating in the U.A.E., and how the law will continue to evolve in the future. His Excellency emphasized that the Ministry of Economy has an open door policy with regard to hearing Business Council members’ thoughts on best practice.
Before the program closed, the Directors also received a special presentation by Peter Wheeler, CEO of the Special Olympics Abu Dhabi, who stated, “The Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the largest sports and humanitarian event on the planet this year. More than 7,500 athletes from over 190 nations will be welcomed to the U.A.E. in less than 25 days to showcase their sporting skills on a global stage. Join us in championing the inclusion movement and help us to create long term positive change for people with intellectual disabilities.”
Concluding the event, Mr. Sebright remarked, “Today’s dynamic discussion, and the presence of so many key stakeholders from across the U.S. and U.A.E. public and private sectors is indicative of the Business Council’s achievements in support of bilateral trade, and more significantly, the U.S. and U.A.E.’s shared values and strategic priorities.”Back to News