wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ABUDHABI2455
2003-05-25 13:08:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

UAE: POST RESPONSE ON MIDDLE EAST TRADE INITIATIVE

Tags:   PREL  KIPR  ETRD  TC 
pdf how-to read a cable
null
Diana T Fritz  05/24/2007 04:04:19 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Search Results

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
CONFIDENTIAL

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM                                             May 25, 2003


To:       No Action Addressee                                    

Action:   Unknown                                                

From:     AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 2455 - ROUTINE)         

TAGS:     PREL, ETRD, KIPR                                       

Captions: None                                                   

Subject:  UAE: POST RESPONSE ON MIDDLE EAST TRADE INITIATIVE     

Ref:      None                                                   
_________________________________________________________________
C O N F I D E N T I A L        ABU DHABI 02455

SIPDIS
CXABU:
    ACTION: ECON 
    INFO:   POL P/M AMB DCM 
Laser1:
    INFO:   FCS 

DISSEMINATION: ECON
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: CDA:RALBRIGHT
DRAFTED: ECON:CMCRUMPLER
CLEARED: A/DCM:TWILLIAMS

VZCZCADI960
RR RUEHC RUEHGV RUEHZM RUCNWTO RUCPDOC
DE RUEHAD #2455/01 1451308
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 251308Z MAY 03
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0054
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0523
RUEHZM/GCC COLLECTIVE
RUCNWTO/WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 002455 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARP, NEA/PPR AND EB/TPP/MTA/IPC
STATE PASS USTR -- DOUG BELL
USDOC FOR USPTO
USDOC FOR 4250/DOC/MAC/ONE/CLOUSTAUNAU
GENEVA PASS USTR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/25/2008
TAGS: PREL KIPR ETRD TC
SUBJECT: UAE: POST RESPONSE ON MIDDLE EAST TRADE INITIATIVE

REF: STATE 135263



1. (U) Classified by Charge d'Affaires Richard A. Albright
for reasons 1.5 (b) and (d).



2. (C) Summary and comment: The UAEG will welcome the
Middle East Trade Initiative (METI) and its comprehensive
efforts to encourage economic reform and enhance economic
growth in the region -- particularly if METI is defined in
unambiguously non-political terms. The UAE sees itself as
a model of economic prosperity and diversity for other Arab
countries, and will likely view the Initiative more as a
mechanism to enhance economic reform elsewhere in the
region. Post recommends that any approach to the UAE
regarding the Middle East Trade Initiative focus on areas
where we can reinforce the already strong bilateral
economic relationship, and refrain from suggesting that our
goal is to reform the UAE economy. The GCC -- the only
existing free trade area in the Middle East -- is a ready
vehicle through which the USG could approach the Gulf
countries on the Middle East Trade Initiative. The
countries of the GCC face similar economic problems --
which vary significantly from the economic challenges of
other countries in the Middle East -- and the GCC offers
the perfect venue for addressing such issues collectively.
End summary and comment.



--------------------------


The UAE Can Benefit From The Initiative


--------------------------





3. (C) Although the UAE is well ahead of the rest of the
region in terms of economic diversity and private sector
participation, the Middle East Trade Initiative could
encourage the UAE's compliance with international workers'
rights and protection, support workforce skills
development, and the revamping/updating of the local
commercial and agency laws and courts -- all of which
hinder foreign investment in the UAE.



4. (C) UAE officials have also welcomed targeted WTO
training -- especially in Trade in Services and TRIPs --
and raised the issue at the U.S.-UAE Strategic Dialogue in
Washington in November. Post believes that the UAE could
also benefit from training in Government Procurement and
Intellectual Property Rights, specifically. A better
understanding of agreements related to Customs Valuation
Methods, Rules of Origin, and Standards as Non-Tariff
Barriers to Trade are also critical to the UAE.



5. (C) The long-term presence in the Gulf of an American
trade expert, who could educate the UAEG on its specific
WTO obligations and explain U.S. positions in multilateral
negotiations, would be a welcomed sign that we are serious
about strengthening our economic ties to the UAE and the
region. Given the UAE's reputation as the regional trading
hub, the UAEG may offer to cover the costs of trade
experts, host training sessions, and even propose a
permanent regional training facility in the UAE for trade-
related programs.



--------------------------


Approach The UAE Through The GCC


--------------------------





6. (C) The GCC is an existing free trade zone that --
although is experiencing problems with the logistics of its
customs union -- is politically committed to economic
integration. The USG has secured a number of agreements
with the GCC in the past, including most recently the
Multilateral Open Skies Agreement. This agreement began as
several concurrent bilateral initiatives with individual
GCC members, and morphed into a regional Open Skies
Agreement with the GCC.



7. (C) The GCC is the best forum to discuss trade-
institution building in the Gulf and the UAE's specific
trade-related concerns, as well. Such an approach might
also usefully address issues arising from the
implementation of the GCC Customs Union in terms of WTO
obligations, and standards issues. Such discussions could
take place during the regular (but currently overdue)
meetings of the U.S.-GCC Economic Dialogue.



--------------------------


Israel Will Be A Problem


--------------------------




8. (C) The GCC forum would also provide political cover for
sensitive political decisions regarding trade with Israel.
Although the UAE no longer enforces the secondary and
tertiary aspects of the Arab League boycott of Israel, some
government contracts continue to contain pro forma
provisions requiring companies to observe the regulations
of the Arab League regarding the boycott. A political
decision at the highest level of the UAEG will be necessary
to initiate trade ties with Israel. The UAE is unlikely to
make such a decision unilaterally, and without consent of
its GCC neighbors.

Albright