AmCham Greece Executive Director participated at the ACE 2023 U.S. Conference, held in Washington D.C. and Houston, Texas, on May 8-12, 2023.
Attendees were welcomed to the US Chamber of Commerce, where Suzanne P. Clark, President and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, stressed the vital function of businesses in supporting governments in addressing significant concerns, bringing up critical business and government collaboration messages.
Marty Durbin, Senior President of the Policy Division and President of the Global Energy Institute, addressed US industry problems, highlighting permitting delays and shortages of employees triggered by immigration issues. Dan Bayers, Vice President of the US Chamber, Climate and Energy, stressed the connection between a secure energy supply and an awareness of our energy demands, requesting businesses and governments to work closer together. Curtis Dubay, Chief Economist, reassured attendees about the economy’s strength, with Q1 growth at 1.1% and an annual forecast of 0.7%. While a mild recession may occur, job openings will help keep it in check. Dubay also discussed the gradual decline of US inflation from 9.1% to 5.0%, cautioning that the Inflation Reduction Act might need to be more effectively addressed. John Murphy, Senior Vice President of International Policy, provided encouraging evidence of employment creation and growth in income. He emphasized the absence of signed agreements on trade and questioned the emphasis on The Buy American Act.
The ACE team also met with Marisa Lago, Undersecretary of Commerce, and David De Falco, Deputy Assistant Secretary, at the US Department of Commerce. The conference was a productive discussion of ideas, emphasizing the importance of strengthening the links between the corporate and government sectors.
The first day concluded with a memorable reception hosted by the Ambassador of Greece to the USA, Alexandra Papadopoulou, at the Greek Residence, fostering connections and further discussions.
The AmChams in Europe (ACE) team had the honor of meeting with POLITICO, one of the main sources of political news and commentary. They discussed the subtle complexities of politics as a fundamentally human effort in an engaging conversation with Matthew Kaminski, Editor in Chief.
The ACE team also met with the senior leadership of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). A constructive meeting took place with Judith Pryor, EXIM’s First Vice President and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, to learn about financing programs and initiatives geared at assisting American and European businesses.
The ACE team attended an intriguing debate with the US Department of State Undersecretary Jose W. Fernandez. The primary ideas presented throughout the debate were on unity and the critical mission of rebuilding Ukraine, immigration policy, energy issues, and the game-changing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTC). These critical issues, deeply connected to global affairs, served as the platform for a stimulating discussion.
The ACE team hosted an evening reception at the Lombardy Hotel in Washington, DC, to conclude an eventful day. Among those in attendance were Jörn Fleck, Senior Director of the Europe Center at the Atlantic Council’s Transform Europe Initiative; Charles Lichfield, Deputy Director, C. Boyden Gray, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center and Jon Decker, White House Correspondent and Senior National Editor at Gray Television.
The AmChams in Europe (ACE) team concluded their time in Washington, D.C., with a highly productive meeting at APCO Worldwide. The meeting included notable speakers who delivered valuable perspectives that left a profound mark on our team. Dan Scandling, Senior Director of US Politics/Congress; Elizabeth Cohan, Senior Director of International Public Affairs; J. Todd Inman, Senior Director of Global Transport; and James McGregor, Chairman of Greater China, were among the strong rosters. Their talks prompted a lively debate, and furthermore, realizing the immense untapped potential for business relationships between Europe and the United States inspired the ACE team.
The ACE team then moved on to the next part of the Delegation. They met notable Houston community members who had graciously shared their expertise and thoughts with them. Honored guests included Eric Maidla, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Estonia, Matt Todd, Senior Partner at Polsinelli, and Igor Gregorič, Chief and Program Director at the Surgical Division of the Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-TMC, Professor of the Program of Advanced Heart Failure at McGovern Medical School, and Director of Research at the Center for Advanced Heart Failure, who shared groundbreaking research and insights in the field of advanced heart failure.
The ACE team continuing its exciting journey, forging partnerships and seizing untapped potential across industries, made their first official stop in Houston, the fourth-largest city in the United States. The Greater Houston Partnership, an innovative organization focused on supporting the development and growth of the economy in the region, welcomed the team. Jeffrey Blair, Senior Director of Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at Greater Houston Partnership and a notable city promoter, highlighted the importance of connectivity in Houston.
During their visit, the ACE team was honored to meet William Harris, President & CEO of the Space Center Houston. They also had an outstanding encounter with Reid Wiseman, an astronaut who will be a part of the Artemis Moon mission in 2025. The team learned more about the ambitious space exploration program and participated in intelligent conversations.
Continuing their exploration of Houston, the ACE team also visited Collins Aerospace, a renowned aerospace. This visit provided an invaluable peek into the scientific developments and ideas driving the space sector, solidifying Houston’s position as a global center for aerospace operations.
Amazing technological and transformational conversations of traditional and new industries took place with Pramesh Maheshwari, President, Honeywell Process Solutions.
Last stop for the ACE Team trip with a stunning walk and presentation at ExxonMobil Campus – 63K employees, 20K scientists work to solve the “AND Equation” – how to supply energy while protecting the environment. The team met with Romke Noordhuis, Executive, Global Business Solutions, Kurt Aerts, Director, Plastics and Product Life Cycle and Filip Schittecatte, Industry Outlooks Manager.
AmCham Greece warmly thanks the ACE Secretariat – and the ACE Executive Committee for the organization of yet another excellent program being an inspiration for everyone. Thanks to Susan Danger, Chair AmChams in Europe for all the support. Thanks to the amazing team of excellent people from the ACE community. Thanks to all partners in the USA, for all the knowledge and inspiration. ACE Team learned so many new things, but most of all one common idea prevails: Only those countries and communities will be successful where, despite their differences, the state, economy, academia and civil society can cooperate. And that is what ACE community will continue to strive for.