On June 19th, 2019, the U.S.-U.A.E Business Council and the U.A.E. Embassy’s Trade and Commercial Office hosted a working dinner with U.S. and U.A.E. government delegations on the eve of the U.S.-U.A.E. Economic Policy Dialogue (EPD) meetings in Washington, D.C.
This working dinner, which always precedes the bilateral government meetings, was created by the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council to provide an opportunity for representatives of the American and Emirati business communities to provide feedback and offer suggestions.
This year’s event featured senior American and Emirati business executives and government officials including U.S. Economic Policy Dialogue delegation lead Mr. David Meale, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Policy and Negotiations at the U.S. State Department, and U.A.E. Economic Policy Dialogue delegation lead His Excellency Abdulnasser Al Shaali, Director of Economic and Trade Affairs at the U.A.E. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
From L to R: Mr. Danny Sebright, President, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council; Mr. David Meale, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Policy and Negotiations, U.S. Department of State; H.E. Abdulnasser Al Shaali, Director of Economic and Trade Affairs, U.A.E. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Mr. David Lenderking, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Arabian Gulf Affairs, U.S. Department of State; H.E. Jumaa Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary, U.A.E. Ministry of Economy.
In his introductory remarks, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President Mr. Danny Sebright stated, “This evening’s dinner is a testament to the strong political and economic ties between the U.S. and the U.A.E. and the importance both governments place on this key bilateral relationship.” Additionally, Mr. Sebright highlighted that in 2018, the U.S. and the U.A.E. conducted $24.55 billion in total trade and that the U.A.E. has also been the largest U.S. export destination in MENA for the past ten consecutive years.
Mr. Sebright then introduced Mr. Meale and H.E. Al Shaali.
Mr. Meale said, “We are proud of the achievements that our countries have made since the Economic Policy Dialogue was initiated in 2012, and we view these talks as an important instrument for examining the areas of mutual interest for our two countries, and identifying where we can share expertise, improve trade coordination, and continue to engage the private sector.”
Building on those comments, H.E. Al Shaali said, “The work of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council in advancing bilateral commercial relations between the U.S. and the U.A.E. is very much respected and acknowledged. I believe the Economic Policy Dialogue is essential so our economic ties continue to flourish.”
Following their remarks, representatives from leading U.S. and U.A.E. companies had the opportunity to discuss a number of issues critical to the U.S.-U.A.E. economic relationship with Mr. Meale and H.E. Al Shaali and their respective delegations. Topics of discussion included new U.A.E. business ownership laws, steel and aluminum tariffs, Commercial Air Record of Discussion, and women’s empowerment.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Sebright thanked Mr. Meale, H.E. Al Shaali, and their respective delegations for their strong commitment to the U.S.-U.A.E. bilateral relationship.