The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, DC  presented an exclusive webinar titled "View from the mission in DC, US-UAE Commercial Landscape, Updates Related to COVID-19" to the collective leadership and members of the AmCham Dubai and AmCham Abu Dhabi.

 Saud Al Nowais, Commercial Counselor, Trade & Commercial Office for UAE Embassy, offered an overview of the commercial landscape in the two countries and provided a post-event readout of the G2G bilateral Economic Policy Dialogue (EPD), that took place between the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s (MoFAIC) Economic and Trade Affairs unit and the US State Department's Economic Affairs Bureau. First established in 2012, EPD serves as an annual platform for the two governments to promote bilateral trade and investments and to facilitate a more cooperative business environment.

Mr. Al Nowais noted, “I was grateful for the opportunity to speak directly to the member companies at AmCham Dubai and AmCham Abu Dhabi to share insight into the UAE’s COVID-19 response, as well as key highlights from the recent 7th U.S.-UAE Economic Policy Dialogue. The UAE Embassy’s Commercial Office looks forward to strengthening ties to our U.S. corporate partners based in the UAE, as well as continuing this dialogue to allow for frank and candid exchanges on the critical commercial issues affecting both countries.”

Al Nowais offered insights on the UAE’s COVID-19 response, including the economic stimulus packages delivered, technology sharing, the Central Bank of the UAE’s economic outlook, and the future of e-commerce in the country.

Jay Huston, Chairman of AmCham Abu Dhabi noted, “Here in Abu Dhabi,  proactive measures including strict border closures and the exemplary testing efforts, has resulted in less than 1% of the  Abu Dhabi population having Covid. This extraordinary approach ensures that, as we all work to bring business back to Abu Dhabi, it is done with health and safety at top of mind. We are most grateful to the leadership for ensuring absolute confidence in Covid containment and return to work policies.”

The EPD post-event readout included a brief on mutual customs agreements, food security, healthcare partnership, space and emerging technologies, women’s economic empowerment, export control, and on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). In addition, it reaffirmed the desire of the two countries to expand their engagement and pursue new economic, trade, investment, and commercial opportunities, despite the challenges presented by the current global health situation.

UAE trade and investment supports more than 116,000 American jobs. The readout highlighted that the United States held a US$15.6 billion trade surplus with the UAE in 2019, its third-largest globally, reiterating the UAE’s position as a vital economic partner.

For his part, Sammy Bousaba, President of AmCham Dubai, said: “We applaud the considerable progress the UAE has made and continues to make in implementing economic and investment policies, and the country’s ongoing efforts to strengthen regional economic prosperity. We are pleased to be a part of this journey and support continued cooperation with the Emirates.”

He noted that the AmCham Dubai and AmCham Abu Dhabi recognized the shared commitment to maintaining open and regular communication and welcomed the UAE Embassy’s willingness to engage on a quarterly basis in a continuing dialogue. This synergy will offer members of the AmChams and the UAE Embassy greater opportunities to collaborate and exchange information and best practices in navigating the post-COVID-19 landscape.

Recently, the AmChams founded the Multi-nation Business Continuity Task Force in response to the global impact of COVID-19 and its pressures on the international business landscape in the UAE as a resource for the government to hear from the business community. The group of 28 business councils and chambers that are part of the task force convened to engage with the UAE government and work collectively to ensure business continuity.

Source: APCO Worldwide