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  • Writer's picturePam King Sams

UAE creates 120,000 jobs in the US as annual trade grows to $25bn

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

John Rakolta Jr, the US Ambassador to the UAE, hails relationship, says more Arab countries to normalise relations with Israel

The UAE has created about 120,000 jobs in the United States through its investments in the country, according to John Rakolta Jr, the US Ambassador to the UAE.

The US-UAE Strategic Dialogue, new opportunities brought by the current health situation and peace accords in the region will help also grow bilateral economic and trade relations exponentially, the top US diplomat told state news agency WAM in an interview.

He said he is optimistic that the current $25 billion annual bilateral trade between the US and UAE will grow by 4-5 percent, without specifying the timeframe.

"I think Covid-19 brings all kinds of new opportunities for us to advance the growth, not only for our bilateral relationships, which is very strong as we already trade about $25 billion a year, [but across the region also]," Rakolta (pictured below) said in the interview at his residence in Abu Dhabi.

He added that the UAE, through its investments, has helped create about 120,000 jobs in the United States.

"And what Covid-19 has done is to allow us to advance more quickly the need to grow the markets, not only between the two of us, but here overall in the Middle East," he said.

"And I think that this blends in perfectly with the Abrahamic Accords, which is really offering a look forward to peace, prosperity for not only the citizens of Israel and the UAE, but also citizens of the greater Middle East. The potential here is enormous."

Asked about the bilateral economic and trade relations, the ambassador said: "The normal growth rate in the world is about two percent in good times or two to three percent. If we could get four or five percent growth rate, we would be doing very, very well. It will create a lot of new jobs and incomes would go up."

The US-UAE Strategic Dialogue, which was launched on Tuesday, recognises the strength of a bilateral relationship that has developed over the last 50 years, he told WAM.

"We are strategically aligned in many, many areas... broadly partners in defence and intelligence sharing, in counterterrorism, culture, the economy, trade, investment, space, human rights. The list goes on and on and so on," he added.

The UAE, led by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the United States, led by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, on Tuesday committed to further develop bilateral ties and solidify the close partnership between the two countries through a new strategic dialogue initiative.

The initiative provides a framework to discuss cooperation in eight areas - political partnership; security cooperation; law enforcement and border security; intelligence and counterterrorism; human rights; economic, energy, and commercial partnership; cultural and academic exchanges; and space partnership.

Talking about the Abraham Accord, Rakolta said: "We are living in a very, very exciting time. And I have all the hope and confidence in the world that we're going to have great success," adding that more Arab countries will follow the UAE in recognising Israel.

"I am sure that we are going to see over the next weeks and months more countries joining this, because it's going to help their citizens through peace and prosperity," he said without naming other countries.

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