U.S. Pavilion Celebrates Successful Business Programming at Expo 2020


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The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council and U.S. Pavilion co-hosted a reception on 30 March to recognize the contributions that key U.S. and U.A.E. businesses made to the success of the U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2020. This event took place on the eve of Expo’s closing ceremony, after a successful 6 months that saw 23 million visitors to Expo.  

Bob Clark, U.S. Commissioner General of the U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2020, lauded the many contributions made by the business community in helping create a highly successful platform that showcased the best in American innovation during the course of Expo and as part of its many business theme weeks. Clark singled out by name those best-in-class American companies that stepped up and played a role.  He also praised the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council for regularly convening industry leaders at the U.S. Pavilion and called the Business Council a true leader in this regard.

Khalid Sharaf, Director of the Expo Business Programme at Expo 2020 Dubai and Deputy to Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, echoed Clark’s thanks to U.S. business for their sustained involvement in Expo programming. Sharaf praised the U.S. Pavilion, Bob Clark and his team, and the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council as true leaders and examples of best-in-class partnerships.

Jim Core, Director of the International Expositions Unit at the U.S. Department of State, spoke of his long relationship with the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council and the support the Council has provided to Expo since the announcement that Dubai would host Expo 2020 a decade ago.  Core, who is working on U.S. participation at future Expos, has told stakeholders in Osaka, Japan and elsewhere that the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council’s partnership with the Department of State and the U.S. business community on the U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2020 is a model for others to follow.

Danny Sebright, President of the Business Council, congratulated Clark and his team, and thanked Sharaf and the “Reem Dream Team” at Expo 2020 for all that they have done to support both the U.S. Pavilion and the bilateral business relationship.  Sebright called out key players of Clark’s team like Matthew Asada, Lori Moggy, and Tracy Mansour who have been outstanding partners.  He also spoke of the support provided by the U.S. Mission in the U.A.E. to the overall effort at Expo 2020. He implored American businesses in the room to do more back in Washington, D.C. in raising awareness about the importance of the U.A.E. as a critical partner to the U.S. in today’s quickly changing world.  

In her concluding remarks, U.S. Consul General in Dubai Meghan Gregonis thanked the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council for showcasing U.S. innovation to the world through extensive programming over the past 6 months at the U.S. Pavilion. She praised the U.S. Pavilion team led by Clark and the U.S. Foreign Service Commercial team at the U.S. Mission for their efforts.  Gregonis summed up the U.S. Mission’s often stated view at Expo over the last six months that the U.S. has provided the most important innovation to the world in the last 200 years and it will continue to do so for the next 200 years.  The U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2020 has provided a critical global platform for making this case.

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council has hosted 10 events at the U.S. Pavilion over the past 6 months. The Council convened industry discussions corresponding with Expo theme weeks on the topics of watereducationspacemobility, and energy.  It collaborated with the Israel Pavilion and the USA Pavilion to host a trilateral meeting and business discussion with Israel’s Minister of Energy, the U.A.E.’s  Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, and the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, it partnered with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) to welcome over 300 senior business and government leaders to the U.S. Pavilion for a reception at the biennial Dubai Airshow. Beyond these events at the U.S. Pavilion, the Business Council also hosted a networking session for “USA Pavilion @ Expo 2020 Fellows” to discuss business opportunities in the U.A.E. and guidance on growing their businesses.  

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council has championed Expo 2020 Dubai since Dubai first announced its intention in 2011 to bid on Expo 2020. After the 2013 announcement that Dubai would be the 2020 host, the Business Council became Chair of the Expo 2020 U.S. Standing Committee, which interfaced with U.S. and U.A.E. government authorities on Expo 2020 and advocated for opportunities and partnerships between American and Emirati entities hoping to participate in the Expo. The Business Council helped disseminate timely information about Expo 2020 Dubai and associated commercial opportunities and created meaningful engagement opportunities between businesses and Expo leadership in the U.A.E. At the same time, the Business Council helped raise awareness of Expo 2020 and associated commercial opportunities in the United States by hosting a series of Expo 2020 roadshows in the U.S. and by sponsoring a U.S. business and U.S. government delegation on a visit to Expo 2015 in Milan.  In short, the Business Council has acted as primary consultant to the U.S. business community in encouraging their support of and active participation at the U.S. Pavilion.

In addition to its collaboration with Expo 2020 leadership, the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council worked closely with the U.S. government across multiple Administrations to support the establishment of a USA Pavilion at Expo 2020. In October of 2017, the U.S. Secretary of State formally signaled the U.S. government’s intent to participate at Expo 2020 Dubai.  The Business Council worked tirelessly throughout all of these years to ensure that a world-class U.S. Pavilion was created as a platform to showcase American innovation at the “Greatest Show on Earth” at Expo 2020.

For more information about the Business Council’s Expo programming, please contact Graham Reitman at greitman@usuaebusiness.org