WASHINGTON (Jun. 2)
The University of Maine with the cooperation of the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce has sponsored a joint four-day Middle East-American business conference at its Orono campus Aug. 2-6, the university has disclosed. Acceptances have been received by the university from nine countries but Israel is not among them, according to the university’s promotional material made available today to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here.
More than 200 persons are expected from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman. The United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iraq but maintains an “interests” section in Baghdad and commerce is conducted between the two countries. The U.S. Arab Chamber of Commerce is cosponsor of the conference.
A Saudi Arabian, Abdul Wohabe, a director of the UBAF Arab American Bank in New York, will brief American businessmen on the legal aspects of doing business in the Arab world. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger was quoted as saying this will be “the first large-scale conference held in the United States where Arab and Iranian bus inessmen will have the opportunity for face-to-face discussions with pre-selected American businessmen regarding specific products for sale and manufacture.”
A recent trade mission of Maine businessmen sponsored by the U.S. Departments visited Iran and Saudi Arabia. John R. Brown Jr., conference director, said the Mideastern businessmen coming to the conference are “paying their own way over from the Middle East.” He said “We did not dream they would be so eager to come. I have had to put a limit of 200 on the number coming.”