AmCham Abu Dhabi and the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council hosted an exclusive breakfast event for the American business community on November 15 featuring the Honorable Terence “Terry” McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi Hotel, Nation Towers.
Top American business executives, distinguished Emirati guests, and U.S. Embassy officials participated in the event, including Barbara A. Leaf, U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E. and keynote speaker, Terence McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia.
Members of the Virginia delegation included Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce, Todd Haymore, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and Martin Briley, President and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
After an introduction from Sharief Fahmy, Vice Chairman, AmCham Abu Dhabi, Ambassador Leaf welcomed Governor McAuliffe and the Virginia state delegation.
She noted the history of friendship and trade with the U.A.E. and that Virginia exports to the U.A.E. last year topped $217 million, a new record high.
“Trade missions, such as this one, have been and continue to be an important component of building our bilateral trade and investment relationship, and our people-to-people relationship,” said Ambassador Leaf.
“As your companies seek to capitalize on these opportunities, Mission U.A.E. is ready to partner with you.”
Featured keynote speaker, Governor Terry McAuliffe, highlighted his work to grow and diversity Virginia’s economy and to encourage trade and investment. Governor McAuliffe said “I am here with my Secretary of Commerce Maurice Jones and my Secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore. The Virginia delegation has come to Abu Dhabi to build relationships and increase trade.”
He noted the important role of international trade missions because 95% of customers are outside America. Governor McAuliffe covered a range of topics including infrastructure, healthcare, agriculture and the Virginia Cyber Security Commission.
Following his presentation there was a lively question and answer session. Governor McAuliffe and the Virginia delegation are on the first leg of their 11-day trade mission, which includes the U.A.E., India, Oman and Kuwait.
Governor McAuliffe is the 72nd Governor of Virginia. Since being sworn into office in he has worked to grow and diversity Virginia’s economy and encourage more business across the nation and globe to locate in the state. He previously served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001-2005, was co-chairman of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, and was chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.