His Excellency Majid Al-Suwaidi, United Arab Emirates Consul General in New York, traveled to North Carolina from July 23rd to July 26th, 2018 for a series of engagements with business and civic officials to discuss the UAE's bilateral relationship with the state and identify potential new economic opportunities. Consul General Al-Suwaidi was joined by Ms. Ahood AlZaabi, Counselor at the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC and representatives from Etihad Airways, and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).

The mission was organized by the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council in partnership with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), the Research Triangle Region Partnership (RTRP), the U.S. Commercial Service North Carolina, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and the World Affairs Council Charlotte (WACC).

"The UAE and North Carolina share a vibrant economic relationship that has grown tremendously over the years. Total exports from North Carolina to the UAE have increased eight-fold from 1999 to 2017," Consul General Al-Suwaidi said. "We look forward to building upon our robust partnership with North Carolina and promoting shared prosperity and economic growth."

The delegation introduced key Emirati policymakers and firms to local public and private organizations, in addition to providing the opportunity for firms already participating in bilateral trade to engage directly with Emirati trade policy stakeholders.

This was Consul General Al-Suwaidi's second visit to North Carolina, and a critical step in enhancing bilateral trade and commercial ties between the UAE and the state of North Carolina, a major corporate center for the U.S. financial services, manufacturing, technology and life sciences industries.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, North Carolina exported $176 million in goods and services to the UAE in 2017, supporting 1,053 U.S. jobs. Building on this past success, the delegates signaled a meaningful interest in expanding the bilateral trade flow beyond the already robust level to include additional firms and verticals.

Speaking to the importance of the UAE-North Carolina bilateral trade relationship, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President Danny Sebright remarked "It is clear that North Carolina is and will continue to be a critical trade partner of the UAE. The UAE delegation was enthused with the range of new business verticals offered by North Carolina-based companies."

The mission kicked off in the Raleigh-Durham area before moving on to Charlotte. Highlights of the week included site visits, bilateral meetings, roundtable luncheons, and working dinners with local corporate and civic leaders, including Mr. William Miller, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, North Carolina, and Ms. Julie Eiselt, Mayor Pro Tempore of the City of Charlotte. According to Mr. Miller, "North Carolina businesses develop global commerce opportunities that align with the business, economic, and tourism strengths of our state. We welcome Consul General Al-Suwaidi as he visits and learns more about these strengths in North Carolina. This is an opportunity to optimize global economic development opportunities together in North Carolina and around the globe."

In addition to introductions made to numerous companies at the Raleigh-Durham area and Charlotte luncheon events, the delegates met with and conducted site visits to key organizations in the life sciences, internet communications & technology (ICT), and apparel sectors in the Raleigh-Durham area, including:

Life Sciences

RTI International (RTI) - RTI combines scientific rigor and technical proficiency to deliver reliable data, analysis, and technical services to help clients inform public policy and ground practice in evidence.

Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) - DCRI designs and implements innovative clinical trials to improve patient care.

Immunoreagents, Inc.- Immunoreagents is a direct U.S. manufacturer of quality antibodies and reagents used in research and in vitro diagnostics.

Internet, Communications & Technology (ICT)

SAS Institute - SAS is a trusted analytics powerhouse for organizations seeking immediate value from their data.

Trilliant Networks - Trilliant Networks empowers the energy industry with the only purpose-built communications platform that enables utilities and cities to securely and reliably deploy any application on one powerful network.

Apparel

Hanesbrands, Inc.- Hanesbrands is the world's largest marketer of basic apparel. Hanesbrands' iconic brands include Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, Maidenform, Wonderbra, DIM, Nur Die/Nur Der, Lovable, Abanderado, Shock Absorber, Zorba, Sol y Oro, Rinbros, Track N Field and Ritmo.

VF Corporation - VF is one of the world's largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies. Its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands includes Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Wrangler and Lee.

In Charlotte, the delegates met with major stakeholders in the global financial services, manufacturing and leisure sectors, including:

Financial Services

Bank of America Corporation (BofA) - BofA is a global leader in wealth management, retail, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes.

Manufacturing & Leisure

Siemens USA Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub is the company's worldwide hub for 60Hz fossil power generation equipment, manufacturing, and service, with additional capabilities for the 50Hz market.

Charlotte Pipe & Foundry Company (Charlotte Pipe) - Charlotte Pipe is the U.S.'s top manufacturer of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings.

Speedway Motorsports, Inc. - Speedway Motorsports is a leading marketer, promoter and sponsor of motorsports entertainment in the United States. Through its subsidiaries, it owns and operates premier racing facilities including Charlotte Motor Speedway, the world's largest race car manufacturer, U.S. Legend Cars International, and integrated broadcast media, and souvenir merchandising firms.

Otto Environmental Systems North America, Inc. - Otto Environmental Systems is a full services solutions company providing trash carts and recycling bins to the waste and recycling industry.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs