US-UAE Business Council chairman identifies ‘tremendous potential’ for future growth – Reuters

Danny Sebright. —Wam

The Council plans to redouble its focus on climate change and sustainability over the next 18 months as the UAE prepares to host the COP 28 conference in November 2023.



By WAM

Published: Sat, May 28, 2022, 3:43 PM

Last update: Sat, May 28, 2022, 3:57 PM

With exports worth $16.7 billion last year, the US-UAE Business Council is poised to further strengthen US-UAE health ties , energy sustainability, space, advanced manufacturing and the digital economy.

“There is enormous potential for the further growth of the bilateral relationship,” Danny Sebright, the chairman of the Council, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM) in an interview. The economic relationship is now marked by more than $22 billion in two-way trade as well as significant flows of foreign direct investment in both directions, he added.

“The United Arab Emirates has been the United States’ largest export market in the MENA region since 2009, with $16.7 billion in exports in 2021,” according to Sebright, who was in Abu Dhabi as the head of the council delegation to attend the 6th edition. of the World Aerospace Summit which ended on Thursday.

He said that since its inception in 2007, the Council has grown to more than 200 member companies, reflecting the strength of bilateral economic and trade relations and having had a direct impact on key bilateral economic and trade policies and initiatives.

“One of the UAE sovereign wealth funds, Mubadala Investment Company, has invested over US$100 billion in the United States. Other UAE sovereign wealth funds have also invested heavily in the United States over the past 20 years. In turn, more than 1,500 American companies do business in the UAE, sell goods and services, and help create well-paying jobs at home in the United States,” he noted.

Danny Sebright, who was a panelist and keynote speaker at the Aerospace Summit, said the event provided valuable networking and market intelligence opportunities to complement those offered at the summit itself. “This leads to real connections and real business that supports the development of the aviation and aerospace business ecosystem,” he noted.

Cooperation in the space sector

Sebright said the Business Council has been promoting U.S.-UAE partnerships in space since day one of the UAE’s fledgling space exploration program. “Since the 2018 agreement between NASA and the UAE Space Agency, the Council has worked diligently to showcase and highlight opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in this important area.

“As the UAE is one of the signatories to the Artemis Accords, cooperation in this vertical sector will only grow between the United States and the UAE and it will continue to be the focus of our work.”

“We have consistently worked to highlight opportunities for American companies to provide best-in-class solutions to the UAE space program,” he added.

Artemis Accords is a U.S.-led effort based on a shared vision of principles, grounded in the 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty, to create a safe and transparent environment that facilitates exploration, science and commercial activities for the benefit of all mankind.

Climate change and sustainability

Sebright said: “The Council established a ‘Climate Change Task Force’ in early 2021, following the appointment of Dr Sultan Al Jaber as the United Arab Emirates’ Special Envoy for Climate, bringing together business, academic and government leaders to create opportunities for better understanding and cooperation in the broadest terms between our two countries.

“The Council plans to redouble its focus on climate change and sustainability over the next 18 months as the UAE prepares to host the COP 28 conference in November 2023.

“Over the past few weeks, we have been in discussions with Sultan Al Jaber’s office to explore ways in which the UAE can engage the U.S. private sector to make COP28 a resounding success. With the U.S. business community before COP 28.”

“The Business Council looks forward to engaging the business community in every way possible to move forward with this commitment,” he continued.

The UAE announced the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, a nationwide initiative to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, with an investment of more than 600 billion dirhams ($163 billion) in energy renewable.

“For the UAE, their net zero commitment is an opportunity to create economic value at home, including through the creation of a green economy, especially around hydrogen.”

“American companies have a big role to play in this,” Sebright said, adding that American companies can better support climate initiatives by creating “new technologies to help the UAE decarbonize.”

UAE’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic

Sebright said the UAE’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been “nothing short of exemplary”, and has always been recognized as such by objective authorities such as Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking. .

“Indeed, the United Arab Emirates quickly implemented large-scale and responsible national campaigns to test and vaccinate, while ensuring sufficient personal protective equipment or PPE for its population.

“As a result, it has been able to effectively contain the spread of the virus. This has enabled business to return to business as usual and has even attracted companies, entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals from all over the world to settle in the UAE. “.

At the same time, the UAE has accelerated a process of economic and social reforms that have reified the country’s position as a place to do business in the region. “This culminated last fall with the introduction of the 50 Projects, which will make the UAE a truly global business hub,” observed Sebright.

Projects from the 1950s and the American market

The president of the US-UAE Business Council described the “Projects of the 50” program as an important story he seeks to tell in the US market. “We officially launched a series of ‘Projects of the 50’ programs in the United States with a panel discussion in New York on May 12… The Council will continue to tell the story of the UAE’s projects of the 50 around the United States. United States in collaboration with our partners, and we will organize future engagements in Florida, Texas and California.”

Women and young entrepreneurs

Asked about the Council’s support for women and young entrepreneurs, he said: “Supporting young entrepreneurs is also an important part of our work, at the Business Council we recognize the power and importance of inclusion, diversity and equality. —Wam

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