The US is one of the world’s top destinations for foreign direct investment, with nearly $161 billion (Dh592.15 billion) flowing in 2012. From CEOs to new entrepreneurs, those looking to expand their operations overseas should know: the US is open for business.
In today’s globalised world, companies can’t afford not to do business with the US, and the best way to do it is by being in the US. We want to give Emirati businesses the specific tools and help them build the connections they need to make it happen. I invite you to sign up for the inaugural SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit (www.selectusasummit.com), which will be held in Washington, DC on October 31 and November 1, 2013. Hosted by President Obama, the Summit will include participation by Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew.
The US continues to be a top investment destination for the UAE because of an unparalleled business environment – an environment where research and development and subsequent intellectual property are safe and protected. An environment that is transparent with a predictable legal system that resolves disputes quickly. And an environment with a highly-educated workforce, considered the world’s most productive, and an extremely large domestic consumer market with ties to hundreds of millions more.
Just as it is in the economic interest of Emirati companies to consider investments in the US, it is also in our interest to welcome them. UAE investment in the US is a win-win and reinforces our close bilateral ties. It is in recognition of the positive influence of foreign direct investment that, in 2011, President Obama created the SelectUSA Initiative to facilitate foreign direct investment into the US and reaffirm the US government’s ongoing and unwavering commitment to an open, welcoming investment climate.
For foreign companies and investors wanting to expand their activities to the US or to use it as a base for worldwide exporting initiatives, the Summit is an excellent place to start.
The Summit will address practical, nuts-and-bolts issues that new investors need to know, like procedures for applying for business-related visas, innovation safeguarding, and how to export products. Most importantly, the Summit provides access.
Participants can meet with senior US government officials, economic development organizations, state officials, and venture capitalists, all of whom are eager to do business. Participants can meet one-on-one to discuss how to smooth their entries into the American marketplace.
Evidence of the successful partnership between the US and UAE business community can be found in the multi-billion Fab 8 Global Foundries campus in the State of New York. With a direct investment from the Mubadala-owned, Advanced Technology Investment Company, construction began in 2009 on this advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility and production is scheduled to begin this year with the aim of producing nearly 60,000 high-tech semiconductor wafers per month at full operation.
These wafers are formed into chips that are used in everyday electronic devices. The Fab 8 facility is billed as the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world and, thanks to direct investment from the UAE business community, is expected to create at least 2,000 jobs in an area of the US with limited employment opportunities.
To those who want to invest in the US, or have questions or concerns about investing, I also invite you to contact SelectUSA through http://www.selectusa.gov, which can help provide information, link your business with economic development organizations at the state, local and regional levels, and provide ombudsman and advocacy services for potential investors. We are working hard to make it simpler for businesses to invest in the US and to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities available.
Taking your business to the US doesn’t have to be daunting. The size of our country should not serve as a deterrent, rather as an enticement.
Our land is rich in resources and opportunity. Home to some of the most dynamic and diverse cities in the world, our towns and suburbs also offer unparalleled hospitality.
Whether you’re considering the high-tech corridors of Silicon Valley or the industrial heartland; the gleaming financial towers on Wall Street or the retail shops on Main Street, there’s a place for you. The US Embassy in Abu Dhabi and US Consulate in Dubai are ready to help you take that first step in expanding your business by investing in the United States.
The writer is US Ambassador to the UAE.