US, Arab trade set to pass $ 1 tn mark by 2013

Feb 09, 2011 12:00 AM

Trade between the United States and the Arab world is set to hit $ 117 bn within the next 2 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 $ 68 bn in 2010, and total demand from the region is set to exceed $ 1 tn 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 5 years, the UAE has led imports from the US, with growth jumping by 16.75 % from $ 19.04 bn in 2009, to $ 22.23 bn in 2010. By 2013, those figures are expected to reach $ 35.59 bn, the NUSACC report said, far outstripping the next largest importer, Saudi Arabia. Exports to the kingdom are expected to reach $ 26.48 bn, with Egypt ($ 10.6 bn), Iraq ($ 8.53 bn) and Kuwait ($ 6.06 bn) rounding out America’s top 5 trade partners. According to figures released by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade, more than 29 % 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 UAE’s leading imports are US aerospace products and services. Flag carriers Etihad and Emirates have a combined total order book of $ 49.1 bn. “Since 2006, major UAE airlines – Emirates Airlines and Etihad- have emerged as serious global competitors to established carriers in Europe and the Americas”.
The Gulf state, already the third largest purchaser in the US Foreign Military Sales programme, is mulling a further $ 45 bn worth of defence equipment from the US – largely fighter jets.

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