The third annual Aberdeen-Houston Gateway took place in Aberdeen last week and was hailed as a “resounding success”.
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The event, which explores the links and opportunities between two of the world’s leading energy cities has evolved from a single, half-day event to a week-long series featuring business and educational visits, networking opportunities, and knowledge sharing platforms.
The highlight of the week was a flagship lunch at the city’s Norwood Hall Hotel where a packed house of 200 delegates heard from a line-up of leading speakers from both sides of the Atlantic, including some of the 14 Houston business representatives who have made the trip to Aberdeen for the week.
They were led by Her Majesty’s Consul General in the region Andrew Millar who said: “Houston is a great environment for setting up business: Texas has a wide and diverse economy and is home to the global oil and gas capital.”
“The cyclical nature of the sector is well known and while we are in a downturn, opportunities still exist for UK companies. The fast, the smart and the creative will do well in this environment and I am convinced of the strength and innovation capacity of firms from the UK and especially Aberdeen and the North East.”
During his time in Aberdeen, Mr Millar also visited leading electrical products and services provider AEL who will celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of their Houston office during this year’s OTC. Supported by Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International the Houston base – which has created four jobs – has allowed the family-run enterprise greater co-ordination and stronger, direct communication with the North American market.
Mr Millar added: “AEL is another great example of a well-established Aberdeen company which is capitalising on the business links and synergies which exist between its home city and fellow global energy industry hub, Houston. Many organisations are reaping the rewards of exploring these opportunities and the Aberdeen-Houston Gateway is an excellent tool for those wishing to find out more about setting up or growing their presence in these key locations.”
AEL Operations Director Alan Mackie said: “The success of AEL (Americas) Inc. is testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone in the team, both in Houston and elsewhere. We were delighted to share our experiences with Andrew Millar during his visit.
“We are confident in the good relationships we have forged with carefully selected global manufacturers who are leaders in their respective fields and we believe this represents a synergistic approach in growing our business and helping our customers to do the same.”
Reflecting on the success of the third annual Aberdeen-Houston Gateway, event creator and host Brett Jackson of Granite PR added: “Despite the current challenges of the lower oil price, companies in both locations continue to look for and benefit from opportunities to work together. The Gateway exists to facilitate such collaborations and we are delighted that so many business sectors are represented this week.”
The 2015 Aberdeen-Houston Gateway was sponsored by DISA Global Solutions Inc.; RSOH, a DISA company; British School of Houston; PKF Texas; Petrasco; the Scottish American Business Alliance; Centrifuges Un-Limited; FCm Travel Solutions and Scottish PA Network.
The event was supported by Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, British Airways, Scottish Development International, UKTI, British Consulate General Houston, Robert Gordon University, Greater Houston Partnership, British American Business Council, Energy Institute, Press & Journal and Energy Voice.