WASHINGTON, DC (12 October 2012) – Diplomats from the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., to further ties between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and state officials. During their two day visit, UAE Embassy diplomats, Dr. Saghira Al Ahbabi – Second Secretary, Political Department and Saud Al Nowais – Commercial Counselor to the US, met with over 50 business leaders, local lawmakers and educators from the state’s capital city to discuss the growing economic and cultural relationship between Pennsylvania and the UAE.
During the visit, which was organized in coordination with the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, the UAE Embassy diplomats discussed the UAE’s efforts to diversify its economy and shared ways that local businesses can establish a presence in the country. Dr. Al Ahbabi and Mr. Al Nowais also highlighted opportunities for new cultural and educational exchanges between Harrisburg area educators and students, and their counterparts in the UAE.
While in Harrisburg, the diplomats met with World Youth Congress students at a local secondary school and spoke with them about the strong bilateral relationship between the US and the UAE. During the discussion, the students learned about key advances that Emirati innovators are making in fields such as renewable energy research. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the UAE are key trading partners, with over $200 million worth of goods imported from Pennsylvania in 2011. Top exports goods from Pennsylvania to the UAE include helicopters, grain oriented steel, aircraft parts and cranes. Over eighty Emirati students attend universities in Pennsylvania and the UAE has several partnerships with Pennsylvania universities, including Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
“The UAE has trade and cultural relationships with all 50 states. In that regard, it’s important for our diplomats to meet with leaders outside of Washington DC as often as possible,” said Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba. “We look forward to expanding our public diplomacy outreach to additional regions across the US.”