Over 200 business executives, academics, entrepreneurs, and government officials convened in Abu Dhabi last month for AmCham Abu Dhabi’s 8th annual RoundTable Summit.
As an official member of the American Chamber of Commerce, AmCham Abu Dhabi is a non-profit organization that strives to promote commerce and investment between the US, Abu Dhabi, the members of AmCham Abu Dhabi, and the UAE. This year, AmCham Abu Dhabi held its 8th annual Roundtable Summit at the Yas Vineroy in Abu Dhabi on October 19, 2016. The prestigious event provided business and government leaders a platform to discuss business opportunities and challenges of trade and investment in Abi Dhabi, as well as identify concerns and issues for those doing business in the Emirate.
The dialogue, made possible by the Summit, allowed event attendees and participants to identify specific government policies, business practices, and laws that can be improved to enhance investment in the UAE and US-UAE commercial relations and assist the Emirate in achieving their goals and plans outlined in Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.
The majority of the event was dedicated to 10 roundtable breakout sessions focused on discussions. Among the many sectors discussed at the Roundtable Summit, the following ten showed the most interest: banking and finance; cyber innovation; defense, aerospace and security; education and professional training; energy, water, oil and gas; engineering, construction and project management; fast-moving consumer goods; healthcare and insurance; hospitality and tourism; and media, arts and culture. All issues, solutions, and recommendations discussed and identified by each of the ten sectors will be presented to both US and UAE government officials and policymakers in an effort to increase and promote trade, investment and cooperation.
Participants and attendees of this year’s Roundtable Summit had an opportunity to listen to a keynote address from H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, U.A.E. Ministry of Economy. During his speech, Al Saleh highlighted key areas of UAE and US cooperation and acknowledged the two countries’ growing relationship strengthened by the continuation of successful bilateral trade, economic cooperation and cultural partnerships.
As the US’ largest export market in the Middle East, the UAE is a strong economic partner that produced over $25 billion in two-way trade in 2015 alone. Since the country’s founding in 1971, economic and trade relations between the US and UAE have grown exponentially through strategic partnerships, investments and government policies. Recently, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba touched on the deep commercial ties between the US and UAE during a visit to Dallas, Texas. While delivering a speech to the Political Studies students of Southern Methodist University, Ambassador Al Otaiba noted the robust trade relationship not only between the UAE and US, but more specifically the UAE and the state of Texas. As the state’s exports surpassed more than $2 billion in 2015, Texas is the second largest merchandise exporter to the UAE among the US states.