Dubai FDI-led mission to US spurs interest among innovators and knowledge-based industries

Monday 02 May 2016

Dubai - MENA Herald: Dubai’s ambitious growth plans as well as policy focus on competitiveness and innovation were explained to US investors and businesses during a series of ‘Doing Business in Dubai’ seminars hosted recently across Orlando (Florida), Dallas (Texas) Denver (Colorado) and San Francisco (California) by a delegation led by Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED).

The delegation, co-ordinated by Dubai FDI and Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of DED, and supported by the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the US-UAE Business Council, had representatives from TECOM, Emirates Group, Dubai South and Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO).

Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, said over 450 senior decision-makers from the private and government sectors in the US know more about Dubai now as a result of the productive seminars and interactions the delegation had in the four cities during the 14-day mission.

“US businesses were keen to know how Dubai can enable them grow and expand. Representatives from Dubai South, TECOM and Dubai Silicon Oasis were particularly successful in highlighting the opportunities for innovation-driven and knowledge-based economic activity to thrive in Dubai’s free zones,” said Al Gergawi.

“There was palpable interest among US businesses in the efficiencies Dubai has added as a hub in regional and global supply chains, particularly in enabling faster movement of trade and people. We are looking forward to this interest translating into business initiatives and partnerships in the near future,” added Engineer Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Exports.

In Orlando, the delegation addressed over 100 senior business executives in collaboration with the Central Florida International Trade Office and visited a number of research and development sites as Dubai’s focus on innovation and education dominated the discussions.

The high point of the delegation’s visit to Dallas was a tour of the Alliance Texas, an inland port development and logistics zone with integrated residential, commercial and aviation operation facilities. Dubai South being a new free zone was particularly interested in the emphasis on efficiencies and a harmonious work-life balance in the Alliance Texas ecosystem.

“The trade mission to four US cities has succeeded in initiating and facilitating communication between Dubai South and its entrepreneurial, investor and business counterparts in the US. It was encouraging to engage with and learn from the expertise and knowledge of our US partners in a range of areas related to innovation, and research and development,” said Mohammad Al Falasi, Director - Business Development at Dubai South.

“Dubai South, an urban city development with a solid business ecosystem, is an unrivalled gateway to the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, and the time is ideal for collaborations between North American manufacturers and investors, and Dubai South,” added Al Falasi.

The delegation held meetings with the State Economic Development Offices, VisitDenver, Denver International Airport and the Mayor’s Office in Denver, in addition to site visits to a number of successful renewable energy projects. The Denver International Airport officials expressed strong interest in welcoming the Emirates airline to their city.

“We were very impressed with the collaborative approach from the Dubai delegation. Not only did they use their visit to promote the vast opportunities for investment in Dubai, but they took the time to thoroughly engage with Denver leaders to build relations. It’s these relations that will serve as the foundation for future partnerships between Denver and Dubai,” commented Laura L.Jackson, Vice President – Air Service Development at Denver International Airport.

In San Francisco, the Dubai delegation and Tesla Motors discussed collaboration on enabling the renewable energy pioneer to leverage Dubai’s position as a hub for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA). The delegation also visited SolarCity, a renewable energy integrator, to update them on the scope for renewables in the regional markets, and met with institutions known for excellence in innovation, including Stanford University and Google.

Expressing happiness over the mission and growing trade bilateral trade, Nasir Abbasi, Commercial Attache at the US Consulate in Dubai said UAE-US trade crossed US$ 25.4 billion in 2015, surpassing all other US trade partners in the broader region, including Turkey and India.

“I think the value of the trip was evident on all sides, be it the delegates, entities or individuals with whom they interacted. Our hope is that we can build this momentum, and we stand ready to support,” added Saud Al Nowais, the UAE’s Commercial Counsellor in the US.

Danny Sebright, President of the US-UAE Business Council, remarked that the visit by the Dubai delegation highlighted the success of sectors with special interest to US companies looking to expand their businesses abroad. “It’s a testament to organisations like Dubai FDI, which so skillfully promote Dubai’s business-friendly environment and state-of-the-art infrastructure. Indeed, Dubai FDI is a valuable tool for government as well as private sector institutions and the US-UAE Business Council is proud to be a loyal partner.”

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