Senior U.A.E. Diplomats and Executives from Abu Dhabi-Based Firms Conclude Successful Trade Mission to North CarolinaJuly 26, 2018
The U.A.E. Consul General in New York, His Excellency Majid Al-Suwaidi, Ms. Ahood AlZaabi, Counselor at the U.A.E. Embassy Trade and Commercial Office, and representatives from Etihad Airways and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) visited the state of North Carolina from July 23rd to July 26th, 2018.
The mission was organized by the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council in partnership with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), the Research Triangle Region Partnership (RTRP), the U.S. Commercial Service North Carolina, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, and the World Affairs Council Charlotte (WACC). Commenting on the successful mission, H.E. Al-Suwaidi noted, “The U.A.E. and North Carolina share a vibrant economic relationship that has grown tremendously over the years. Total exports from North Carolina to the U.A.E. have increased eight-fold from 1999 to 2017. We look forward to building upon our robust partnership with North Carolina and promoting shared prosperity and economic growth.”
The delegation introduced key Emirati policymakers and firms to local public and private organizations, in addition to providing the opportunity for firms already participating in bilateral trade to engage directly with Emirati trade policy stakeholders.
L to R: Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council; Ahmad AlSawalhi, Director of Sales, Mid-Atlantic, Etihad Airways; William Ghazar, Managing Director, Head of Client Relationships, First Abu Dhabi Bank USA N.V.; Doug Edgeton, President and CEO, North Carolina Biotechnology Center; Ahood AlZaabi, Counselor, Embassy of the U.A.E. Trade and Commercial Office; His Excellency Majid Al-Suwaidi, U.A.E. Consul General in New York; John Loyack, Vice President, Global Business Services, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina; and Ryan Combs, Executive Director, Research Triangle Region Partnership
This was H.E. Al-Suwaidi’s second visit to North Carolina, and a critical step in enhancing bilateral trade and commercial ties between the U.A.E. and the state of North Carolina, a major corporate center for the U.S. financial services, manufacturing, technology, and life sciences industries.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, North Carolina exported $176 million in goods and services to the U.A.E. in 2017, supporting 1,053 U.S. jobs. Building on this past success, the delegates signaled a meaningful interest in expanding the bilateral trade flow beyond the already robust level to include additional firms and verticals. Speaking to the importance of the U.A.E.-North Carolina bilateral trade relationship, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President Danny Sebright remarked “It is clear that North Carolina is and will continue to be a critical trade partner of the U.A.E. The U.A.E. delegation was enthused with the range of new business verticals offered by North Carolina-based companies.”
The mission kicked off in the Raleigh-Durham area before moving on to Charlotte. Highlights of the week included site visits, bilateral meetings, roundtable luncheons, and working dinners with local corporate and civic leaders, including Mr. William Miller, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, North Carolina, and Ms. Julie Eiselt, Mayor Pro Tempore of the City of Charlotte. According to Mr. Miller, “North Carolina businesses develop global commerce opportunities that align with the business, economic, and tourism strengths of our state. We welcome Consul General Al-Suwaidi as he visits and learns more about these strengths in North Carolina. This is an opportunity to optimize global economic development opportunities together in North Carolina and around the globe.”
L to R: Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council; Greg Sizemore, Director, U.S. Commercial Service; Sven Gerzer, Vice President, Economic Development, Charlotte Chamber; Lauren Osga, Senior Director of Programs, World Affairs Council of Charlotte; Abad Allawi, Senior Director, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council; William Ghazar, Managing Director, Head of Client Relationships, First Abu Dhabi Bank USA N.V.; Ibraheem Mehmood, Senior Advisor Economic Affairs, U.A.E. Consulate in New York; Ahood AlZaabi, Counselor, Embassy of the U.A.E. Trade and Commercial Office; His Excellency Majid Al-Suwaidi, U.A.E. Consul General in New York; Ahmad AlSawalhi, Director of Sales, Mid-Atlantic, Etihad Airways; and Wayne Cooper, Chairman of the World Affairs Council of Charlotte and North Carolina District Expo Council
In addition to introductions made to numerous companies at the Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte luncheon events, the delegates met with and conducted site visits to key organizations in the life sciences, internet communications & technology (ICT), and apparel sectors in the Raleigh-Durham area:
- RTI International (RTI) – RTI combines scientific rigor and technical proficiency to deliver reliable data thorough analysis, innovative methods, novel technologies, and sustainable programs that help clients inform public policy and ground practice in evidence.
- Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) – DCRI’s faculty include scientists, statisticians, and practicing physicians who see patients each day. Together with experienced and knowledgeable operations teams, they design and implement innovative clinical trials grounded in the realities of patient care.
- Immunoreagents, Inc.– Immunoreagents is a direct U.S. manufacturer of quality antibodies and reagents used in research and in vitro diagnostics.
Internet, Communications & Technology (ICT)
- SAS Institute – SAS is a trusted analytics powerhouse for organizations seeking immediate value from their data.
- Trilliant Networks – Trilliant Networks empowers the energy industry with the only purpose-built communications platform that enables utilities and cities to securely and reliably deploy any application – on one powerful network.
- VF Corporation – VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear, and accessories companies. Its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands includes Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Wrangler and Lee.
And in Charlotte the delegates met with major stakeholders in the global financial services, manufacturing and leisure sectors.
- Bank of America Corporation (BofA) – BofA is a global leader in wealth management, retail, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals around the world.
Manufacturing & Leisure
- Siemens USA – Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub is the company’s worldwide hub for 60Hz fossil power generation equipment, manufacturing, and service, with additional capabilities for the 50Hz market.
- Charlotte Pipe & Foundry Company (Charlotte Pipe) – Charlotte Pipe is the U.S.’s top manufacturer of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings.
- Speedway Motorsports, Inc. – Speedway Motorsports is a leading marketer, promoter, and sponsor of motorsports entertainment in the United States. Through its subsidiaries, it owns and operates premier racing facilities including Charlotte Motor Speedway, the world’s largest race car manufacturer, U.S. Legend Cars International, and integrated broadcast media, and souvenir merchandising firms.
- Otto Environmental Systems North America, Inc. – Otto Environmental Systems is a full services solutions company providing trash carts and recycling bins to the waste and recycling industry.
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