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TOP ALLIES: On the US-GCC business relationship

Separated by thousands of miles, countries in the Gulf region have been successful in strengthening trade relations with economic powerhouse, the United States, says Mas Meghji

May 22, 2012 2:27 by

The geographical distance be­tween the GCC and the United States has never been a hurdle in trade relations. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have been the key allies of the US in the Middle East for decades. However, the main export from this region has been petroleum products, and imports from the US have been in the defense sector.

Latest figures say trade between the US and the UAE reached a record high of $18.34 billion in 2011. Increased trade and investment in several key economic sectors, including manufacturing, infra­structure and technology, drove the rise in last year’s economic activity.

According to US export statistics released by the department of com­merce, the UAE remained a key export destination and the single largest export market for US goods in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

In total, the US exported a record $15.89 billion worth of goods to the UAE in 2011, an increase of 26 percent com­pared to 2010. The previous record of $14.4 billion in US exports to the UAE was registered before the global econom­ic recession of 2008. The UAE exported $2.44 billion worth of goods to the US, more than double its 2010 exports.

A senior office bearer at the US-UAE Business Council said the council has been involved in a number of initiatives with the governments of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, helping to promote trade and commerce between the two countries.

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