U.S. – U.A.E. Business Council Defense Offsets Dinner


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Washington, D.C.— The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council hosted a dinner and discussion with H.E. Saif Al Hajeri, the CEO of the Offset Program Bureau (OPB) of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), and a delegation from OPB on Sunday, October 24th at the W Hotel.  Executives from Original Equipment Manufacturers and Small and Medium Enterprises with interests in defense contracting, technology transfer, and training opportunities in the U.A.E. attended the meeting, along with officials from the Embassy of the U.A.E.

H.E. Al Hajeri and his delegation were welcomed by Mr. Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, and Mr. Saud Al Nowais, the Commercial Counselor for the U.A.E. Embassy in Washington, D.C.  The delegation’s visit served as a vehicle for developing understanding and transparency between the OPB and U.S. companies with current and potential offset obligations in the U.A.E.

“This evening’s discussion is a significant opportunity for U.S. companies to address offset issues candidly with members of the OPB’s executive management,” said Mr. Sebright.  “This is also an important time for commercial representatives of the two countries to meet and discuss the implications of the new offset regulations unveiled by the U.A.E. in June.”

“It is important for U.S. companies to connect with OPB officials this week to garner a full understanding of the new offset policy and OPB’s commitment to align the policy with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030,” said Mr. Al Nowais. “Now is a great time for American companies to open the channels of dialogue with OPB as the U.A.E. economy continues to diversify.”

H.E. Al Hajeri, who has been the CEO of OPB and OPB’s subsidiary, Tawazun Holdings, since 2008, engaged in a lively dialogue with the audience.  In his remarks, His Excellency outlined the offset regulations realignment process, citing extensive discussions with offset stakeholders and surveying opportunities for the training and education of Emiratis as key elements in the process.  H.E. Al Hajeri emphasized OPB’s keenness to foster foreign direct investment (FDI) and the further development of U.A.E.’s world class infrastructure.

“The Offset Program Bureau is committed to providing foreign companies with interests in technology transfer and defense contracting with a roadmap for successful investment in the U.A.E.,” said H.E. Al Hajeri. “OPB is working to create an ideal environment for high technology companies under the Abu Dhabi 2030 plan.”

The OPB delegation is in Washington, D.C. for the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Exposition, taking place from October 25-27. This visit to the U.S. comes on the heels of the National Defense Industrial Association and the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council’s “Aerospace & Defense Trade Mission to the U.A.E.,” which took place earlier this month.  The trade mission’s program included briefings and meetings with OPB officials.