Ambassador Kirk Meets with UAE Minister Lubna al-Qasimi
Ambassador Kirk met today with United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister for Foreign Trade, Lubna al-Qasimi. Ambassador Kirk and Sheikha Lubna discussed a number of issues important to the bilateral trade relationship, including the potential for increasing the already strong U.S. business presence in the UAE. Ambassador Kirk and Sheikha Lubna committed to staying in close touch over coming months and exploring options for intensifying cooperation between the two governments in the trade and investment areas.
The UAE has been the chief destination in the Middle East for U.S. exports for some time. U.S. UAE two-way goods trade totaled $13.6 billion in 2009, with U.S. exports reaching $12.1 billion and supporting tens of thousands of American jobs. The UAE is a key transportation and financial hub in the Gulf and the Middle East more broadly and is undertaking significant economic development projects in a number of areas, including renewable and nuclear energy. U.S. companies, though noting some significant barriers to entry to the UAE’s market, have shown increasing interest in the potential for economic growth and business opportunities in the country, especially given its position as a gateway to neighboring regions.