A delegation from the United States Congress visited Sharjah to explore mutual business and investment opportunities last week. Led by U.S. Congresswoman and Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Representative Marcia L. Fudge, the delegation met leaders in government, business and education and participated in a roundtable event held at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The United Arab Emirates is one of the USA’s fastest growing trade partners with bilateral trade accounting for some US$ 25 billion (AED 92b).
The congressional tour follows trade and investment promotion visits by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and other Sharjah organisations to Washington DC, Philadelphia and other US trade hubs over the past year. Shurooq signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at promoting investment, trade, technical and economic cooperation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in March this year. In April, Shurooq signed an MoU with U.S. export credit agency Ex-Im Bank earlier to help facilitate trade between the USA and Sharjah.
The Sharjah roundtable event was attended by H.E Robert Waller, U.S. Consul General to Dubai, H.E. Abdalla Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry , H.E. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and a number of other Sharjah organisations.
Shurooq will welcome US investors and economic experts at 12th The World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment, which will be held in Sharjah from 8-10 February next year*. Last held in Philadelphia, the forum is hosted by a different global trade hub each year and 2015 will mark the first year that the FDI event is held in the Middle East region.
Total bilateral trade between the USA and the UAE has grown from about US$ 4.5 billion in 2002 to US$ 24.8 billion in 2012. In the first nine months of last year, the total value of trade between the UAE and the USA rose by 12.5 per cent to US$20,56 billion (AED 75.46b), compared with US$18.27 billion (AED 67.05b) in the first nine months in 2012.
The USA opened a Regional Trade Center (USARTC) in Sharjah in 2012 to encourage bilateral trade.
*Updated 4 September 2014