President remains adamant over US trade pressure

The UAE is ‘not to give up any rights under any circumstances’ over FTA, says Sheikh Khalifa
By Anees Dayoub and Ben Flanagan
Mon 20 Nov 2006 12:00 AM

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, has said that the country will not bow to US pressure over the Free Trade Agreement.

In a wide-ranging exclusive interview published in London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, the president singled out the trade issue as one of particular importance.

He said that the team negotiating with the US is ‘very professional and capable’ and that its mission is to achieve the best results to preserve the economic interests of the UAE.

The President said that directives were given to the negotiators ‘not to give up any UAE rights relating to sovereignty or to independent decisions under any circumstances’.

His comments follow the visit to the region made by US trade official David Bohigian last week. Here to discuss the free trade agreement between the US and the UAE, Bohigan said that the process should be speeded up, urging the UAE to make changes in its company law.
The issue is sensitive given the condition of US-UAE trade relations following the Americans’ high-handedness of DP World’s acquisition of US ports.

In the interview, Sheikh Khalifa also praised the strength of the UAE’s economy, calling it ‘a symbol of success for developing economies’.

Click here for the full text of the Sheikh Khalifa interview.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.