UAE Hosts Inaugural Corporate Networking Luncheon on UAE-US Foreign Direct Investment during UNGA 2017

NEW YORK – September 20, 2017 – The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) together with the UAE Consulate in New York and the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC hosted the inaugural UAE-US Corporate Networking Luncheon on September 19, coinciding with the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. The event, titled Shifting trends in the Global Foreign Direct Investment, convened nearly 100 senior-level business leaders and government officials for a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities faced by UAE and US investors.

“We have built a robust UAE-US trade and investment relationship over the years through the insightful vision of our UAE leadership and efforts by the US administration,” His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Cabinet Member and Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said during opening remarks. “Testimony to this is the strong trade figure between both countries, which more than doubled between 2006 and 2016.”

According to recent data from SelectUSA, the combined UAE-US FDI relationship in 2016 was nearly $40 billion.

“While UAE-US economic cooperation is strong, a dominant trend we’re seeing across foreign investments in general is a weaker correlation between FDI flows and economic fundamentals, due to an elevated level of political and economic uncertainty,” His Excellency Fahad Al Taffaq, Director of Economic Affairs and International Cooperation at MoFAIC said. “The UAE has focused on building an external bridge of cooperation to unlock the entrepreneurial sector and knowledge sharing partnerships to help offset these trends.”

The luncheon aimed to explore new avenues of collaboration with the United States and foster economic growth and job creation on both sides. Key business leaders from General Electric, GlobalFoundaries, The Carlyle Group, British Petroleum, IBM, Nasdaq, The Boeing Company and Bloomberg LLC attended the event.

​Special guests included His Excellency Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman at Abu Dhabi Global Markets, His Excellency Ali Abdullah Al Ahmed, UAE Ambassador to Germany, Fahad Al Raqbani, Senior Advisor to Mubadala Investment Company, and Husam Arabiat, CEO of National Bank of Abu Dhabi – Americas.

“Through our partnerships and investments, the UAE seeks to create an economic engine for the entire Middle East,” His Excellency Majid Al-Suwaidi, UAE Consul General in New York said in his remarks. “This is part of our leadership’s forward-looking vision for the region, a vision that replaces the extremism and violence that we hear too much about in the headlines, with a new sense of opportunity, optimism, and openness.”

The event, moderated by Saud Al Nowais, Commercial Counselor for the UAE Embassy, covered topics ranging from the UAE’s deployment of large scale foreign investments, knowledge transfer and workforce development in the UAE, key sectors for US investment, the UAE’s regulatory impact on foreign business.

Panelists included His Excellency Fahad Al Taffaq, Director of Economic Affairs and International Cooperation at MoFAIC, Her Excellency Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General at Smart Dubai Office, Danny Sebright, President at the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, and Rob Lloyd, CEO at Hyperloop One.

A short video highlighting Hyperloop One’s partnership with the UAE to further evolve the country into a technology hub and build a new mode of transport from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, was featured during the event.