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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to Lead Transportation, Infrastructure Trade Mission to Qatar and United Arab Emirates

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

June business development mission will make stops in Doha, Qatar and Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will lead a group of American companies on a June 4-9 transportation and infrastructure business development mission to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The mission will promote the export of multi-modal transportation (transportation that uses at least two different means of transport) and infrastructure development products and services.

“Exports are leading the U.S. economic recovery, spurring future economic growth and creating jobs in America,” Locke said. “Qatar and the UAE are critical trading partners for the U.S. in the Middle East, and the continued economic growth there represents new opportunities for American firms – opportunities that will create jobs here at home and bring world class products and services to both nations.”

The Qatar-UAE trade mission will highlight export opportunities for U.S. businesses in a broad range of sectors, including multi-modal freight transportation systems, products and technologies (including port development), airport development, freight rail systems and technologies, supply chain systems and strategies; mass transportation systems; advanced vehicle technologies and intelligent transportation systems and related services and software; and other relevant products and services.

The Qatar-UAE business development mission will help build on the exporting success American companies had in 2010. Last year, U.S. exports were up nearly 17 percent compared to 2009. It will be Locke’s third trade mission as Commerce Secretary. Earlier this month, he led a contingent of U.S. high-tech companies on a trade mission to India.

The United States is the single-largest exporter to Qatar, accounting for 14 percent of its total import market; U.S. exports surged nearly 500 percent from 2003 to 2009.  Qatar is the fifth-largest U.S. export destination in the Middle East, making it an important market for U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses. 

Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup opens up additional opportunities for U.S. businesses.  The country plans to spend up to $100 billion on infrastructure projects between now and the 2022 World Cup, including roads, bridges, highways, railways, ports, and related consultancy services. 

The UAE is the largest U.S. export market in the Middle East/North Africa region and the second largest economy in the region. The United States exported over $12 billion worth of products to the UAE in 2009, representing a 237 percent increase since 2002.  

Exports represent a critical part of the economy and are a key component of the Obama administration’s efforts to spur new job creation. Last year, President Obama outlined his National Export Initiative (NEI), which seeks to double exports by 2015, in support of several million new U.S. jobs. The NEI enhances the U.S. government’s trade promotion efforts, increases credit to businesses – especially small- and medium-sized businesses – looking to export and continues to improve efforts to remove trade barriers for U.S. companies in foreign markets.

The Department of Commerce, through the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), leads the administration’s trade promotion efforts. The TPCC provides a platform for the Secretary of Commerce to advance a government-wide agenda on trade promotion and to directly engage the heads of the other TPCC agencies.

Commerce’s International Trade Administration helps American companies export their products and services around the world, utilizing some 1,500 U.S. Commercial Service staff stationed in 77 countries across the globe. Last year, the U.S. Commercial Service helped facilitate billions of dollars in U.S. export sales, supporting jobs across the country.

Applications for companies interested in participating in the mission can be completed on-line at http://www.trade.gov/QatarUAEMission2011, or can be obtained by contacting Larry Brill with Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service at 202-482-1856, Lawrence.Brill[at]trade[dot]gov. The application deadline is Friday, March 18, 2011, unless extended by the Department of Commerce.  Completed applications should be submitted to Larry Brill at Lawrence.Brill[at]trade[dot]gov.  Applications received after Friday, March 18, 2011, will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.