Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States, recently attended a meeting in Washington, DC between UAE officials and US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The meeting was held during UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri’s official visit to the United States, and also included the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade Affairs, the CEO of Emirates Global Aluminum, and the Commercial Attaché for the UAE to the US. The two sides met to discuss ways to enhance economic cooperation between the UAE and the US.
The meeting consisted of discussions surrounding both the current relationship between the two economies and what will come in the next phase of development, with both sides seeing investment opportunities for the future. The meeting attendees recognized that the UAE and the US continue to support each other with a mutually beneficial trade relationship. The UAE is one of the most important markets for US exports, and foreign trade between the two countries is estimated to support nearly 120,000 US jobs.
The Minister also noted that the UAE’s direct investments in the US market total about $27.5 billion, which in turn has created thousands of jobs. The total value of UAE investments in the United States is estimated to be close to $100 billion. He emphasized the importance of the two countries continuing to meet and review the opportunities and challenges that face the UAE and the US.
Ambassador Al Otaiba is committed to using his time in Washington to further improve relations between the UAE and the US. He specifically cares about driving growth through the healthcare and technology sectors, and has supported initiatives that encourage cooperation between the two countries. The UAE-US economic partnership is fast-growing and reflects both countries’ openness to international trade and investment.
Mr. Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the US, recently traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to meet with Cleveland Clinic leaders and local officials. The UAE has had a close relationship with the Cleveland community for many years. Cleveland Clinic opened a hospital in Abu Dhabi three years ago, and the Embassy also sponsored the construction of the Glenville Community Soccer Field last year. Ambassador Al Otaiba participated in a panel discussion with local business leaders and then visited the newly dedicated field. He also visited with Emirati patients at the clinic after the panel discussion.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has been extremely successful since opening its doors in 2015. It treats more than 400,000 patients from over 70 different countries each year, and employs 5,000 people. The Clinic is now working on plans to open a third facility in London by 2021.
The Ambassador is thrilled with the success of the clinic. Looking towards the future of the clinic, Mr. Al Otaiba said: “We’ve started with the Cleveland Clinic, the Rolls-Royce of healthcare in the United States, maybe.in the world. We’ve built the engine.”
As the partnership between the UAE and the clinic has strengthened over the years, citizens in both the UAE and the US have been positively impacted. The UAE embassy proudly sponsors sports programming at local Cleveland schools, and the Clinic has attracted even more tourists to Abu Dhabi. Cleveland also sent $600 million in goods to the UAE last year, placing them as the seventh largest state exporter to the country.
Ambassador Al Otaiba is committed to strengthening UAE-US relations through innovations in the healthcare and technology sectors.
The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Digital Competitiveness Center recently released their 2018 digital competitiveness rankings. The UAE came in at #17 overall, and was the only Arab country in the top 20. The research team studied 63 economies and quantified the technological transformation of each country over the past year. The UAE earned its spot by implementing new digital strategies and initiatives. This is an exciting recognition for Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the US, who has always been a strong advocate for furthering technology and innovation.
In addition to being #17 overall, the UAE also placed well in the study’s subcategories. The Gulf nation was ranked first in Business Agility and fourth in Talent. These rankings demonstrate that the global business community has taken notice of the UAE’s investment in talent to improve its business environment. Members of the research team at IMD emphasized that in order for a country to stay competitive in the long term, there needs to be a framework of knowledgeable people who are equipped for changes in the digital space. The UAE’s strength in both of these subcategories will help them improve their overall digital competitiveness in the years to come.
The UAE’s work toward growing its digital competitiveness goes beyond the country’s borders. Ambassador Al Otaiba has led many initiatives between the UAE and the US to improve diplomatic relations while also innovating in the business, energy, and healthcare sectors, among others. Major companies in both the UAE and the US are members of the US-UAE Business Council in Washington, DC. There is also a partnership between the World Wildlife Fund (based in the US) and the government of Abu Dhabi to create Masdar City, which is a waste-free and carbon neutral city. Finally, the UAE has partnered with several healthcare facilities in the United States such as The New England Center for Children to assist with funding for research and treatment.