Houston Mayor Annise Parker will lead a 38-member delegation to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Qatar. The eight-day visit will focus primarily on economic development and employment.

“This trade mission will not only enhance our existing foreign business relationships, but also provide opportunities for new partnerships with public and private organizations in each country,” Mayor Parker said of the planned trip. “Houston’s strength as an energy capital will help businesses looking for new ventures or strategic links in this part of the world and, inversely, place Houston at the forefront when Middle Eastern businesses contemplate future international business models,” she added.

With the planned Middle East visit, Mayor Parker and the delegation will visit dignitaries and business leaders in the cities of Dubai & Abu Dhabi (U.A.E.), Doha (Qatar) and Dammam (Saudi Arabia).

Each of the Middle Eastern cities is regional leaders in exports such as oil and gas. Mayor Parker and her delegation will explore and discuss the parallels Houston has to each of the afore mentioned Middle Eastern cities.

During her visit to the Middle East, Mayor Parker will look to ways to fortify Houston’s international presence. She will also discuss ways to strengthen Houston’s business, economic, commercial and political endeavors and presence.

The delegation joining Mayor Parker includes representatives from the Texas Medical Center, the Port of Houston, Houston Airport System and the Greater Houston Partnership.

Corporate leaders as well as small and medium-size business owners who have interests in conducting business in the Middle East are also apart of the delegation.

Cicely C. Mitchell, CBS Radio Houston


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