S.C. Dept. of Commerce to Lead a Trade and Investment Mission to the United Arab Emirates

November 7, 2008

Mission to Promote UAE investment in S.C. and State Exports to the UAE 

COLUMBIA, SC – November 7, 2008 – The South Carolina Department of Commerce will lead a trade and investment mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), March 20-28, 2009. Companies looking for export sales opportunities are encouraged to participate.  Registration for the mission is currently underway and the registration deadline is December 19, 2008. 

The mission will assist South Carolina businesses looking to expand their market reach by selling products to UAE importers.  Companies will be given the resources and guidance to pursue export opportunities in the UAE and receive one-on-one matchmaking appointments arranged by the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service with potential buyers, distributors, representatives and/or business partners in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. 

During the first half of 2008, U.S. exports to the UAE were up 42 percent from the same period in 2007.  Among the United States’ top 20 export markets, the UAE is the fastest growing market for American goods.  In less than 40 years, the UAE has grown from a poor country to one of the most developed economies in the world.  The country enjoys a per capita GDP on par with Western Europe and the U.S. and continues to achieve rapid economic growth. 

In 2007, UAE-based Jafza International announced plans to locate in South Carolina.  The company is building a massive warehouse system, transportation hub and inland port on more than 1,300 acres of land in Orangeburg County.  The planned $600 million project is estimated to generate thousands of jobs and is a prime example of the type of economic development opportunities that South Carolina can create by attracting investment from UAE-based businesses. 

The mission will also include academic leaders and industry recruiters from all over South Carolina.  The academic representatives will help promote educational exchanges and connections with institutions in the UAE.  The industry recruitment delegation, comprised of government officials and economic development professionals, will meet with UAE companies in an effort to recruit investment to the Palmetto State.   

The participation fee for the mission is $2,200 for businesses wanting pre-screened appointments with importers (register by November 30 to enjoy the early bird fee of only $1,500).  Manufacturers may be eligible to save an additional $700 through a scholarship program sponsored by ECI-Find New Markets.  The participation fee covers appointment making and facilitation, mission events, and delegation ground transportation in the UAE.  International airfare, lodging, most meals, and incidentals are not included.

For more information, contact Gregory Guest at 803.737.0651 or [email protected].  To register, visit www.RegOnline.com/UAE2009.