Monday, March 23, 2009

South Carolina trade mission to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Dan McCue on Monday, March 23, 2009

A delegation of 24 officials and businessmen from Orangeburg, the US county in which Jafza Americas is developing its $600 million (Dh2.2 billion), 1,324-acre project, is in the UAE on South Carolina state's first trade mission to the UAE.

The delegation is being led by Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer and includes representatives of state and local governments and businesses.

It also includes members of the South Carolina legislature, officials from Orangeburg County, representatives of one of the state's largest law firms, it's largest electric co-operative, and the University of South Carolina.

The names of businesses participating in the mission, that arrived on Friday and will visit both Dubai and Abu Dhabi over the next eight days, are being kept confidential by the South Carolina Department of Commerce, which is facilitating the trip.

However, six of the participating companies are receiving "Gold Key Service" from the US Commercial Service during their stay, meaning they will have a series of meetings set up with potential buyers of their products while in the UAE.

The trip pairs South Carolina businesses and officials with potential trade partners in the UAE, according to Kara Borie, spokeswoman for the Department of Commerce.

Later this year, the department will facilitate trade missions to Poland, Columbia, and two missions to Panama.

Last week, the department and South Carolina State Ports Authority announced the state's export total reached $19.8bn in goods sold to 193 countries in 2008, a 20 per cent rise in exports over 2007.

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