NEMA Connects in Middle East

NEMA Connects in Middle East

This piece was originally published in the October 2016 issue of electroindustry.

Madeleine Bugel, Program Manager, NEMA
Khaled Masri, Program Manager, NEMA
Craig Updyke, Director, Trade and Commercial Affairs, NEMA

NEMA staff met with KSA’s commercial attaché at the Saudi Embassy in DC to discuss common goals and NEMA’s KSA Market Access Consortium. From the left are Craig Johnson, Trade and Business Development Advisor; Craig Updyke, NEMA; Taha Alshareef, Commercial Attaché; Khaled Masri, NEMA; Madeline Bugel, NEMA; and Randah Al-Hothali, Economic and International Trade Advisor.

Spurred by direct involvement of NEMA member companies and a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities they face in the Middle East, NEMA is stepping up advocacy activities devoted to this vital region.

In August, NEMA staff met with Taha Alshareef, commercial officer at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia to the U.S and an engineer, to discuss the kingdom’s National Transformation Program (NTP), which was adopted in June, and continued market access for products manufactured to U.S. standards that are preferred in the market and essential to the achievement of several goals in the NTP.

The conversation also touched on opportunities to connect NEMA and its members with Saudi officials visiting Washington, D.C., in the areas of standards, electrical systems, and healthcare.

Khaled Masri, program manager at NEMA, spoke in Los Angeles on innovation, the NTP objectives, and partnerships for industrial development in Saudi Arabia.

In August, NEMA met with other groups that are active on standardization issues in the greater Middle East and North Africa region: American National Standards Institute, American Auto Policy Council, American Petroleum Institute, ASTM International, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, National Fire Protection Association, and Underwriters Laboratories. Representatives of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and Department of Commerce briefed the group.

Participants agreed to collaborate and map their problems, contacts, and events. They held another meeting in September to inform USTR’s objectives for meetings with officials in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. A key proposal will be a conference on North American standards, codes, and conformity assessment.

NEMA co-sponsored and attended a conference in Los Angeles on innovation, the NTP objectives, and partnerships for industrial development in Saudi Arabia. It was hosted by the U.S.-Saudi Business Council and headlined by Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources Khalid A. Al-Falih.

NEMA staff members developed important relationships with key business and policy decision makers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), including H.H. Prince Abdullah Bin Faisal Bin Turki Al-Saud, KSA ambassador to the United States. NEMA staff met with Aramco (officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company) representatives separately and discussed how NEMA and Aramco could work together in the future.

Read the October 2016 issue of electroindustry.

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