US exports to Arab world booming
US exports to the Arab world rose more than 17 percent to nearly $ 66 billion last year, according to latest figures.
New data released by the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) showed that US exports to 22 Arab nations increased from $ 56.18 billion in 2011 to $ 65.91 billion last year, its highest for a single year.
By comparison, total US merchandise exports to the world increased by only 4.5 percent, from $ 1.48 trillion in 2011 to $1.55 trillion in 2012.
Despite the challenges of the Arab Spring, US exports are going from strength to strength, David Hamod, president and CEO of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, was quoted as saying in a statement, cited by media reports.
Saudi Arabia was the second largest market for US goods, importing $ 18.12 billion in 2012, a 31 percent increase since 2011 data were made available.
Top import sectors included transportation equipment ($ 7.69 billion), non-electrical machinery ($ 3.29bn) and chemicals ($1.21 billion).
As in previous years, importing countries were led by Gulf states, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which together accounted for more than half of all US merchandise exports to the Arab world (61.74 percent).
Hamod said: Economic drivers in the Middle East and North Africa region energy, infrastructure development (including railways), defense sales, consumer demand, and a growing commitment to knowledge transfer are leading to unprecedented sales for US companies. In 2012, the top 10 US states exporting to the Arab world included Texas, Washington California, Louisiana, New York, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and New Jersey.
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