Recent Accomplishments, Growing Membership Highlighted as U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council Holds Board Meeting in Abu Dhabi

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U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council Board of Directors discuss past achievements, future goals in Abu Dhabi

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council held its bi-annual Board of Directors meeting at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Members of the Board of Directors of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, comprised of commercial authorities from the United States and United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), were joined by government officials from both countries. Khaldoon al Mubarak, CEO of Mubadala and Dr. Ray Irani, CEO and Chairman of Occidental Petroleum presided over the meeting as Co-Chairmen of the Business Council’s Board of Directors. Ambassadors Yousef Al Otaiba, the U.A.E. Ambassador to the U.S., and Richard Olson, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E., also addressed the Board and commended the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council on its successes in advancing the commercial relationship between the two countries.

“The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council continues to serve as a tremendous asset to the overall relationship between the U.S. and the U.A.E and as a vital resource for companies looking to partner and to succeed in both markets,” said Khaldoon al Mubarak.

For his part, Dr. Ray Irani praised the Council as “the leading policy advocate working in both countries’ capitals to raise awareness and understanding about the overall relationship.”

“The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council plays a significant role in the advancement of strategic partnerships and the exposition of opportunities for Foreign Direct Investment in both countries,” said U.A.E. Ambassador Yousef al Otaiba.

U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson called the Council “a true partner and invaluable resource in helping build and expand the commercial relationship between the two countries.”

The meeting marked the end of the two year tenure of founding Co-Chair Khaldoon Al Mubarak as Waleed Ahmed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, the COO of Mubadala, was voted unanimously to replace him as the new Co-Chairman of the Council.

H.E. Mohammed Al Romaithi, the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, was voted unanimously to become a new Co-Vice Chair of the council.

“Khaldoon Al Mubarak has been a key player in the inception, development, and rapid growth of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council,” said Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council. “His vision and leadership has helped drive and fuel the engine of growth in the trade relationship between our two countries.”

At the beginning of the meeting, members of the Board of Directors were presented with a video highlighting the accomplishments and progress that the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council has enjoyed since its inception in the wake of the Dubai Ports World controversy in the U.S. in 2006.

“"Trade breaks down barriers between counties. The trade opportunities between the U.S. and U.A.E. have grown and have helped to further develop the relationship and communication between the two countries,” said Mohammed Sharaf, CEO of DP World and Co-Vice Chair of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, in the video.

“As a global port operator in 31 countries we see this on a daily basis. The Council is a positive force for good in furthering the relationship between our two nations both in terms of trade and in terms of understanding,” Sharaf added.

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council’s Board of Directors approved an aggressive work plan for 2011 that will include five U.S. trade missions to the U.A.E. in various sectors and extensive commercial outreach and advocacy efforts to a growing number of states in the U.S.

The next board meeting is set to take place in the spring of 2011 in the U.S.

About the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council is a progressive business advocacy organization solely committed to advancing the trade and commercial relationship between the United States and United Arab Emirates.

For more information on the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, please visit: http://www.usuaebusiness.org and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/usuaebizcouncil

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Brian Principato