Reference ID: 07ABUDHABI1157

Created: 2007-07-11 13:21

Released: 2011-08-30 01:44

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Origin: Embassy Abu Dhabi


VZCZCXRO9325

PP RUEHDE RUEHDIR

DE RUEHAD #1157/01 1921321

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

P 111321Z JUL 07

FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9331

INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC


UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 001157

 

SIPDIS

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR NEA/ARP, EB/TPP/BTA, AND EB/IFD/OIA

STATE PASS USTR FOR SHAUN DONNELLY

DUBAI FOR ATO DWILLIAMS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: ETRD ECON EAGR AE

SUBJECT: ECONOMY MINISTER SHEIKHA LUBNA ON IPR, TIFA PLUS

 

1. (SBU) Summary: On July 10, Ambassador and Econchief met

with UAE Minister of Economy Sheikha Lubna Al-Qasimi to

follow-up on the June 29 TIFA plus meeting in Washington.

Sheikha Lubna told Ambassador that she thought that it was an

"excellent meeting."  She expressed interest in deepening the

relationship, suggesting that the U.S. and the UAE sign a

joint economic agreement providing for senior-level

consultations.  She told Ambassador that Dubai Customs has

seized 75 shipments of counterfeit U.S. products during the

2006-2007 time frame.  She also expressed interest in

cooperation and information-sharing on Halal certification

standards, but noted that the General Secretariat of

Municipalities, rather than her ministry, has the lead on

food labeling.  End Summary.

 

Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Actions

--------------------------------------------- ---

 

2. (SBU) Sheikha Lubna told Ambassador that on her return

from the June 29 meeting, she had instructed Dubai Customs to

give her more information on actions taken against

counterfeit products.  In response, Dubai Customs reported

that there had been 400 cases related to seizures of

counterfeit products (including compact discs and car parts)

in 2006.  Many of these seizures were customs seizures.

Dubai Customs also provided her with a statistical breakdown

of seizures of counterfeits of U.S. products over the 2006-07

timeframe, which Sheikha Lubna shared with Ambassador.

(Note:  The information does not include size or value of

seizures. End note.)  The document showed the following:

 

-- Nike: 16 seizures

-- Diesel: 12 seizures

-- Polo: 11 seizures

-- HP: 9 seizures

-- Phillip Morris: 9 seizures

-- Ford: 5 seizures

-- Burberry: 5 seizures

-- AC Delco: 4 seizures

-- GM: 4 seizures

 

3. (SBU) Sheikha Lubna added that, during the last six

months, the Ministry of Economy and Dubai Customs established

an electronic link, giving Dubai Customs a direct connection

to the ministry's trade mark database.  She stressed that

firms having complaints about copyright violations could

contact the Ministry of Economy and the Federal Customs

Authority to follow-up.  Ambassador suggested that Embassy

invite the American Business Groups of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to

an early September meeting, where Ministry of Economy and

Federal Customs officials could discuss IPR enforcement, an

idea strongly supported by Sheikha Lubna.  On July 11,

Econchief contacted Mohammed Al-Mehari the head of the

Federal Customs Authority, who expressed tentative interest

in the idea.  Post will follow-up with UAEG and with American

business groups.

 

Standards

---------

 

4. (SBU) Sheikha Lubna also emphasized her interest in

exchanging information on standards issues, especially on

Halal slaughtering.  She noted that she had seen occasional

"mix-ups" relating to Halal certifications of products

containing pork products from Europe, Australia, and the U.S.

  She noted that Muslims could react "emotionally" to this

particular mistake, and that she was looking for ways to

clarify the certification process.  She noted that National

U.S. - Arab Chamber of Commerce President David Hamod had

expressed interest in cooperating on this issue during his

recent visit to Abu Dhabi.  She said that she would need to

get buy-in from the General Secretariat of Municipalities,

which had the lead on food certification issues.

 

Companies Law Changes Dragging

------------------------------

 

5. (SBU) In response to Ambassador's question, Sheikha Lubna

admitted that revisions to the Companies' law were

"dragging."  UAE Prime Minister/Ruler of Dubai Sheikh

Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum had instructed her to consult

widely on the revisions.  Although all of the emirate level

departments of economy had approved the changes, she was

waiting on the Dubai Chamber of Commerce (DCCI).  The head of

the DCCI had told her that he would talk about it after the

summer.  Sheikha Lubna noted wryly that she still heard

 

ABU DHABI 00001157  002 OF 002

 

 

complaints about the revisions that had been made to the

Agencies law.

 

Joint Economic Framework Agreement

----------------------------------

 

6. (SBU) Sheikha Lubna suggested that the U.S. and the UAE

sign a joint economic agreement. She explained that the UAEG

had several such agreements (under a Ministry of Foreign

Affairs umbrella) providing for ministerial level meetings.

She suggested that a formal agreement would send a message to

the private sector about the close U.S. - UAE economic ties

and help push back on negative reactions to the suspension of

the FTA talks.

SISON