By Gavin Davids
US exports to region at record high of $68bn, rise will be driven by aviation trade with UAE
Trade between the United States and the Arab world is set to hit $117bn within the next two years, led by exports to the UAE, a National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce report has said.
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.
“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 2010.
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 report said.
The UAE’s leading imports are US aerospace products and services. Flag carriers Etihad and Emirates have a combined total order book of $49.1bn, the report said.
“Since 2006, major UAE airlines – Emirates Airlines and Etihad- have emerged as serious global competitors to established carriers in Europe and the Americas,” the report said.
The Gulf state, already the third largest purchaser in the US Foreign Military Sales programme, is mulling a further $45bn worth of defence equipment from the US – largely fighter jets.