The US Department of Commerce has announced a trade mission
to Qatar and the UAE from October 30 to November 3, in a bid to increase US
trade to the two countries, the US-UAE Business Council has confirmed.
The trade mission will be led by the Department of Commerce
and is part of US President Barack Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI),
which aims to double exports in the next five years.
“The Department of Commerce recognises that while there are
a number of US companies that have been successful in Qatar and UAE, some
companies need assistance negotiating these markets to take advantage of the
great opportunities that exist,” the US-UAE Business Council said in a
Trade between the US and the Arab world is set to hit $117bn
within the next two years, led by exports to the UAE, the US’s largest export
partner in the Middle East, a National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce report has
US exports to the Arab world hit a record high of nearly
$68bn in 2010, and total demand from the region is set to exceed $1 trillion by
the end 2013, the NUSACC, a trade body that represents American businesses in
the Arab world, said in February.
“For the first time, more than one million direct and
indirect American jobs will be created or sustained by US exports to the Arab
world,” said David Hamod, president of NUSACC.
“The MENA region is poised to play a key role in America’s
efforts to generate employment here at home through exports.”
For the last five years, the UAE has led imports from the
US, with growth jumping by 16.75 percent from $19.04bn in 2009, to $22.23bn in
By 2013, those figures are expected to reach $35.59bn, the
NUSACC report said, far outstripping the next largest importer, Saudi Arabia.
Exports to the kingdom are expected to reach $26.48bn, with
Egypt ($10.6bn), Iraq ($8.53bn) and Kuwait ($6.06bn) rounding out America’s top
five trade partners.
According to figures released by the UAE Ministry of Foreign
Trade, more than 29 percent of goods imported from the US are churned out to
the wider MENA region.
When combined with its energy shipments, this makes the UAE
the thirteenth largest goods exporter worldwide (excluding intra-EU trade), the