U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council Hosts Dubai Luncheon in Honor of U.S. Secretary of Energy


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The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council hosted a small, private luncheon on Saturday October 26th in Dubai in honor of visiting U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. During this luncheon, leadership from American energy, infrastructure, and technology companies engaged in conversation with Secretary Perry about a wide variety of topics including global energy supply, the role of technology and AI in transforming future societies, and the importance of science and innovation. U.S. Consul General in Dubai Philip Frayne also attended the luncheon.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, U.S. Consul General in Dubai Philip Frayne, and U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President Danny Sebright with executives from leading U.S. energy, infrastructure, and technology companies

On the topic of energy supply, Secretary Perry  described how the production and export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the United States has changed the global energy equation and fueled job growth and investment in American companies. The Secretary emphasized that, during his trip to Europe last week, he strongly advocated for European purchases of U.S. LNG.

Discussion over lunch focused heavily on great power competition with China.  U.S. companies described for the Secretary ways in which the U.S. Government might do a better job of supporting U.S. businesses abroad, and they reviewed for the Secretary a number of ways the Chinese compete unfairly in global markets, particularly the Middle East.  They highlighted the importance of U.S. innovation and technology prowess as a continuing differentiator for U.S. goods and services over those of the Chinese, but they warned that excessive U.S. regulation and a growing sense that the U.S. government might not always be trusted to follow through are beginning to take hold as factors auguring against U.S. goods and services in the region.

From L to R: U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President Danny Sebright

The discussion then turned to a conversation with Secretary Perry about innovation and research initiatives. Secretary  Perry explained that he is in the U.A.E. to support innovation among youth and to focus on technology, particularly AI. This weekend, he will deliver remarks at the FIRST Global Challenge, an annual robotics competition that empowers youth from around the world to solve global challenges in STEM. This year’s competition is sponsored by the Dubai Future Foundation. Secretary Perry has supported this initiative almost since its inception over 15 years ago.
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