Following is the text of a joint statement issued by the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the conclusion of the U.S.–UAE Economic Policy Dialogue (EPD), on April 23 in Abu Dhabi.
The U.S. delegation was led by Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles H. Rivkin and included representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security with input from several other government agencies. The UAE delegation was led by His Excellency Khalid Al-Ghaith, Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs for the UAE, and consisted of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Economy, as well as the Federal Customs Authority, Tawazun, Tawteen, Masdar, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, TAQA, and Mubadala.
United Arab Emirates and United States Hold 5th Economic Policy Dialogue in Abu Dhabi
Government representatives from the United Arab Emirates and the United States met in Abu Dhabi for the fifth session of the U.S. – UAE Economic Policy Dialogue (EPD) on April 23, 2014. The EPD serves as a forum for leaders from the United Arab Emirates and the United States governments to jointly address bilateral economic policy issues and explore areas of opportunity in order to enhance trade and strengthen the overall commercial relationship.
His Excellency Khalid Al-Ghaith, Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs welcomed Charles Rivkin, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, to the UAE and congratulated both sides for the achievements that have been made since the first dialogue in 2012. The EPD is an important instrument for examining areas of common interest and identifying specific policy actions and projects for implementation.
The parties launched a number of programs since the inception of the dialogue, including the hosting of the third annual Global Entrepreneurial Summit in Dubai; the new visa system designed for UAE citizens visiting the United States; and the memorandum of understanding signed by Masdar and Dubai Economic Council with the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States.
At this fifth session of the dialogue, officials discussed ways to facilitate legitimate travel to the United States; strengthen the regulatory enviroment; formalize mechanisms for linking U.S. businesses with UAE training and internship organizations; and explore opportunities for collaboration in key business areas, such as energy and healthcare. Officials also discussed the involvement of the private sector and reduction of non-tariff barriers to trade, as well as continued the dialogue on commercial issues of mutual importance for both countries.
The United States and the UAE have a strong existing economic and commercial partnership. Bilateral trade between our countries reached $26.9 billion in 2013, and the UAE continues to retain its lead among MENA-region countries as the largest market for U.S. exports of goods and services. The EPD leverages these successes to build stronger commercial linkages to meet the potential of the future.
Following the meeting, H.E. Al-Ghaith remarked: “I am confident that our deliberations today will help further institutionalize this dialogue between our governments and contribute immeasurably to the UAE-U.S. strategic and cooperative partnership.”
Assistant Secretary Rivkin highlighted the importance of continued communication coupled with concrete follow-up actions that capitalize on the strong relationship the U.S. government and private sector have with their UAE counterparts.
On the eve of the Economic Policy Dialogue, a senior-level working dinner between UAE and U.S. public officials and private sectors was held in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. It provided a unique opportunity for private sector representatives to engage senior U.S. and UAE government officials directly about topics, outcomes, and proposals on the agenda for the government-to-government EPD meeting. Additionally, several weeks prior to the EPD, the U.S.-UAE Business Council presented to both governments white papers that summarized the latest issues affecting the business community operating in the UAE. These papers were produced through sector-specific working groups formed in conjunction with the American Business Council Dubai and American Chamber of Commerce Abu Dhabi.
The UAE and the United States discussed possible dates for the next EPD, which is planned for of the fall of this year in Washington, D.C.
The UAE participants consisted of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Economy, International Cooperation and Development, as well as the Federal Customs Authority, Tawazun, Tawteen, Masdar, Taqa, Mubadala. The U.S. delegation included Ambassador Corbin and Consul General Waller, the Departments of State, Commerce, and Homeland Security, as well as several other government agencies.