Decades of Cooperation
In a significant milestone, the governments of the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrated the tenth Economic Policy Dialogue, reaffirming their strong economic partnership. The dialogue, co-chaired by U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez and UAE Assistant Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs H.E. Saeed Al Hajeri, marked a moment of reflection and forward-looking cooperation.
Bilateral Trade Milestones
Amid the festivities marking a decade of economic dialogue, Under Secretary Fernandez and Assistant Minister Al Hajeri highlighted the robust bilateral trade and investment ties. Notably, the UAE stands as the largest U.S. trade partner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, purchasing over $20 billion in U.S. exports in 2022 alone. This relationship has extended its reach to all 50 U.S. states and all seven Emirates, fostering more than 137,000 jobs in 2022.
Assistant Minister Al Hajeri placed significant emphasis on the UAE’s substantial contribution to the United States. By 2022, the total stock of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) had surpassed $38 billion, actively bolstering American jobs in cutting-edge industries such as aviation and semiconductors.
Under Secretary Fernandez further noted that over 1,500 U.S. companies have established a presence in the UAE, spanning diverse sectors from heavy construction to energy and retail.
Addressing Global Concerns
The dialogue delved into pressing global issues, with both sides recognizing the significance of climate change in the context of shared goals and concerns. This discussion comes ahead of the 28th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28), set to take place in the UAE.
The two delegations reiterated their commitment to the strategic vision that underpins the strong economic relations between the United States and the UAE.
They also highlighted the pivotal role played by the Economic Policy Dialogue in fostering cooperation and facilitating constructive discussions to further advance economic relations and partnerships.
Broad Spectrum of Topics
The discussions encompassed an array of topics, including investment, health security, aerospace, women’s economic empowerment, food and energy security, the digital economy, energy security, and joint efforts to promote an effective, inclusive, and balanced energy transition on a global scale. The dialogues also extended to the cooperation between the two countries in multilateral forums.
The U.S. government encouraged the UAE to sign the Joint Statement on Cooperation on Global Supply Chains and proposed the signing of a Science and Technology Agreement between the two nations. In the field of environment and climate, the UAE delegation encouraged the U.S. government to join the Mangrove Alliance for Climate.
A Glimpse into the Future
Anticipating future endeavors, Assistant Minister Al Hajeri announced that the UAE is set to host the Thirteenth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in February 2024. This significant event firmly solidifies the UAE’s position as a global economic leader, further emphasizing its unwavering commitment to advancing international economic cooperation.
Tackling Financial Challenges
During the dialogue, the U.S.-UAE Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism Working Group convened for the second time. The meeting highlighted successful cooperation through capacity-building workshops and exchanges over the past year.
The working group explored new opportunities for further collaboration in areas such as financial compliance, international sanctions, and countering illicit finance. They pledged to follow up on the discussed items during the dialogue, underscoring the commitment to address financial challenges together.