The United States plans to increase its trade with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as part of President Barack Obama’s initiative to double exports in the next five years.
The US Department of Commerce will embark on a trade mission to the Gulf states from October 30 to November 3.
The initiative is part of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, announced by the administration in 2010, to strengthen the country’s economic recovery strategy and export competitiveness on a global level.
“The Department of Commerce recognizes 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 statement.
Both Qatar and the UAE have grown to become international business and trade hubs in the Middle East, and the UAE is the US’s largest export partner in the region, having imported $22.23 billion of goods in 2010, a 16 percent increase from the previous year.
Trade between the US and the Arab world is projected to reach $117 billion by 2014, led by exports to the UAE, according to the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce.
By 2013, US exports to Saudi Arabia, are expected to reach $26.48 billion, with Egypt ($10.6 billion), Iraq ($8.53 billion) and Kuwait ($6.6 billion) rounding off America’s top five trade partners in the region.
(Eman El-Shenawi, a writer at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at: email@example.com.)