U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council Hosts Abu Dhabi Delegations in Houston

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Houston event held on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference part of week-long Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry trade mission.

Senior public and private sector officials from Abu Dhabi pose with counterparts from the United States following a dinner held in their honor in Houston

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council hosted a reception and dinner in honor of visiting senior delegations from the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ADCCI) and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) & its Subsidiaries at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, Texas on Tuesday. The event, which was held on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC 2012), brought together senior public sector officials and executives representing all aspects of American and Emirati industry. The event provided a platform for the guests from Abu Dhabi to speak to the commercial progress and opportunities in the Emirate’s energy sector and overall economic development.

Danny Sebright, president of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, opened the program with remarks welcoming the respective delegations to Houston and underscoring the significance of their visits to the advancement of the commercial relationship between the United States and United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). In his comments, Sebright applauded the vision of U.A.E. leaders and thanked the Abu Dhabi Chamber Board Members and senior officials from ADNOC; noting that their presence in the U.S. is a testament to the continued interest Abu Dhabi, and the U.A.E. in general, has in strengthening existing commercial ties and exploring new partnership and investment opportunities with American companies.

Following opening remarks and an introduction, the leader of the ADCCI delegation, Chairman Mohammed Thani Al Romaithi, thanked the audience for the opportunity to survey Houston’s vast commercial opportunities. In his remarks, Al Romaithi emphasized the delegation’s keen interest in American products and partnership and the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s intent to deepen ties with its U.S. partners.

Sebright then introduced Saif Ahmed Al Ghafli, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Gas Development Company (Al Hosn Gas)— ADNOC’s chief representative on their delegation. Mr. Ghafli outlined the commercial structure and operations of ADNOC and its several subsidiaries for the Houston audience. In his comments, Al Ghafli spoke about the interest in Abu Dhabi, and U.A.E. in general, to diversify its economy away from a dependence on oil while sustaining a cutting-edge and efficient energy sector. Al Ghafli applauded Houston for its various efforts to promote the oil and gas sector internationally and noted several key partnerships with American companies like Occidental Petroleum, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips.

Sebright finally introduced Rashed Saif Jaber Al Suwaidi, Member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s Board of Directors, to provide keynote remarks highlighting Abu Dhabi’s ambitious Economic Plan 2030 and presenting the audience with information about the chamber’s work to promote and facilitate commerce, locally in Abu Dhabi and internationally around the world.

After the keynote addresses, the floor was opened for a question and answer session with both delegations. Audience members were given the opportunity to engage directly with senior business leaders from Abu Dhabi’s commercial and energy sectors and discuss issues of mutual interest.

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council reception and dinner wrapped up the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s three-day Houston trip that included a day at OTC 2012, attending a Bilateral U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce reception as honored guests, meeting with senior officials—including the Honorable Rodney Ellis, Texas State Senator— at the Port of Houston Authority, a meeting with the Greater Houston Partnership, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the Mayor of Houston’s International Trade and Development Office.

Before returning to Abu Dhabi later this week, the ADCCI delegation will travel to Chicago on Wednesday to meet with senior government and industry officials and attend a luncheon held in their honor on Thursday hosted by the Arab-American Business & Professional Association, the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago, and the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council. Last week, the delegation met with public and private sector decision-makers in Washington, D.C. to begin their weeklong, three-city trade mission supported by the Trade & Commercial Office at the Embassy of the U.A.E. in Washington, D.C.

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Brian Principato
U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council
(202) 863-7288
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