Saturday 19, March 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, along with Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of DED, is on a tour to four cities in USA connecting with businesses, investors and trade facilitators as part of a mission aimed to attract North American industries and investment into Dubai.

The trade mission, facilitated by the UAE Embassy in Washington D.C. and the US-UAE Business Council, also has representatives from Dubai South, Tecom, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), and Emirates. The itinerary includes presentations, meetings and site visits in Orlando, Dallas, Denver, and San Francisco to introduce the focal points of Dubai’s economic development strategy and share insights on successful investment projects.

Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, said Dubai and its entities have always played a stellar role in facilitating US-UAE trade and particularly in connecting major points in the US to the Middle East and beyond.

“US remains number one among major FDI source markets for Dubai and the scope of our partnership has expanded significantly in recent years. With the emphasis being given to knowledge-based economic activity and innovation in the UAE Vision 2021 and the Dubai Plan 2021, opportunities for such bilateral engagement have further increased. Between 2015 and 2016 Dubai FDI has visited eight US cities and the momentum is visible across improved air connectivity and bilateral trade too,” said Al Gergawi.

Engineer Saad Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Exports, remarked that Dubai’s manufacturing, logistics and transport infrastructure presents an attractive proposition for US businesses looking to move closer to their overseas clients and target new and emerging markets effectively.

“When in Dubai you are ideally placed to connect markets within the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian Subcontinent faster than anyone else, by land, sea or air. The free zones and industry clusters in the emirate offer the best international practices in competitive export processing and logistics,” added Al Awadi.

Saud Al Nowais, the UAE’s Commercial Counsellor to the US said UAE is the largest export market for US in the entire Middle East and North Africa region and that the UAE’s relations with the US have remained the most vibrant consistently for the last seven years compared to any country in the region.
“Missions are part of the reason behind not only big US multinationals are choosing to capitalise on the UAE as a platform for the region and a gateway to other countries, but also SMEs are taking advantage of the great location, first class infrastructure, and government support in making their companies successful internationally.”

Danny Sebright, President of the US-UAE Business Council, said bilateral trade between the US and UAE exceeded $25.4 billion (AED 93.2 billion) in 2015, surpassing all other US trade partners in the broader region, including Turkey and India.

“The UAE continues to lead in global trade and investment throughout the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, even as the region witnesses increased turbulence. The UAE’s business friendly environment, in particular Dubai’s state of the art infrastructure, highlights the success of niche sectors with special interest to the US. This includes aerospace, logistics, tourism, healthcare, and services that are beneficial to US companies looking to expand their businesses into untapped markets. The UAE and Dubai continue to be a leading source of Foreign Direct Investment into the US marketplace.”

“Dubai South is honoured to be part of this special mission of the Government of Dubai, and looks forward to share its best investment opportunities,” remarked Ahmed Al Ansari, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Dubai South. “Dubai South, the 145 sq km urban city development emerging in the emirate of Dubai, is fast becoming a leading global hub for aviation, logistics and commerce. It is an unrivalled gateway to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia – the fastest growing markets in the world. North American companies that anchor themselves in our economic zones will find themselves operating in one of Dubai’s finest and most rewarding business environments related to almost every sphere of urban living.”

Orlando in the state of Florida is the first stop for the Dubai delegation, where the members will present the advantages of doing business in Dubai and meet with community leaders as well as project leaders. Florida ranks third among US states exporting to the UAE and the exports include cars & trucks, aircraft parts, gold and computers. Exports to the UAE is reported to have supported 17,598 jobs in Florida in 2014.

In Dallas, Texas, second largest exporter to the UAE among states in the US, the Dubai delegation is scheduled to meet Mayor Michael Rawlings and Mayor Betsy Price of Fortworth. The highlight of the visit is a tour of Hillwood Development, a major logistics hub in the Dallas area owned by entrepreneur Ross Perot Jr. The state is also home to Houston-Galveston, the third largest US port for trade with the UAE.

Denver, Colorado, is home to a thriving manufacturing sector spanning the aerospace, broadcast & telecommunication, healthcare & wellness, clean technologies, financial services, bioscience, energy, and IT industries. Industry. The city has yet to have direct air connectivity with the UAE but exports to the UAE supported as many as 1,172 jobs in Denver in 2014. Prominent personalities meeting with the Dubai delegation in Denver include Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Kim Day, CEO of Denver International Airport. A tour of ‘Galvanise,’ one of Colorado’s innovative community initiatives on renewable energy is also part of the itinerary.

Solar energy will be the focus of the delegation’s discussions in San Francisco, California. The delegation will tour the Solar Technology Acceleration Centre (Solar Tac) that has the largest test facility for solar technologies in the US.

“The focus on selecting the host cities was in their ability to bring critical knowhow and export potential to Dubai, particularly across the manufacturing, clean technologies and aerospace industries. Our aim is to present Dubai’s strengths as a competitive business and logistics hub for industries of all sizes and illustrate our expertise in enabling investors to establish their presence in Dubai,” said Ibrahim Ahli, Director, Investment Promotion Division in Dubai FDI.

The Central Florida International Trade Office and Orlando’s World Trade Centre as well as the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce and World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fortworth are also supporting the Dubai delegation’s programmes in the respective states and cities.