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President Bush Wraps Up UAE Visit
US President Bush is seen off by UAE vice president and prime minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum..
US President, George W. Bush, left Dubai on Jan. 14, 2008 after a two-day visit to the UAE.

He was seen-off during departure at the Dubai International Airport by UAE vice president and prime minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Abu Dhabi crown prince and deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Also present were national security advisor, Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a number of sheikhs, ministers, senior officials and US ambassador, Michele Sison.

Earlier in the day, US President George W. Bush and General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, were briefed on the activities of Masdar in Bush's final stop in Abu Dhabi.

The Masdar Initiative is Abu Dhabi?s multi-faceted, multi-billion dollar investment in alternative and renewable energy sources; sustainable development; education; manufacturing and carbon management.

The CEO of Masdar, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, presented President Bush with a comprehensive display outlining the six business units of the initiative, including plans for Masdar City, the world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste city, and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), the region's first graduate-level academic institution focused on energy and sustainability and developed in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

President Bush was very encouraged by Masdar's activities, Dr. Sultan said. "We had a very good conversation and I was able to share details of our efforts to date and our plans for the future. President Bush was especially interested in the partnerships we have developed with businesses and academic institutions in the United States.

"I look forward to continuing this discussion with United States Energy Secretary Bodman next week at the World Future Energy Summit,"he continued.

Masdar, which means the source in Arabic, has four primary objectives: 1. To help drive the economic diversification of Abu Dhabi; 2. To maintain - and expand - Abu Dhabi's position in evolving global energy markets; 3. To help Abu Dhabi become a developer of technology; and 4. To make a meaningful contribution to sustainable human development.

Masdar is driven by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (ADFEC), a wholly owned company of the government of Abu Dhabi through the Mubadala Development Company.

Following President Bush's visit, Masdar will host the inaugural World Future Energy Summit (WFES) January 21-23, which will bring together the world's leading innovators, educators, scientists, venture capitalists and experts in the field of alternative and renewable energies. WFES will stimulate innovative solutions for some of the most pressing challenges of our time: energy conservation, energy security, the environment and sustainable human development.

US President Bush and General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, were briefed on the activities of Masdar in Bush's final stop in Abu Dhabi.

The summit will be the largest meeting of the future energy movement and the premier event for world leaders to preview new solutions and technologies and seek partners. The summit will be a carbon-neutral certified event.

President Bush then moved to Dubai where he toured a number of Dubai landmarks to have first hand information about them.

Having arrived in Dubai Monday morning, the US president accompanied by UAE vice president and prime minister and Ruler of Dubai, was driven to some Dubai landmarks, beginning with the house of the late Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum at Shandaga, where he was treated to a colourful reception of cultural music and dances by many cultural troupes.

The US president was taken round the house which was built in 1896 on the Dubai creek. He was briefed about the history of the Al Maktoum, the development of Dubai and some valuable archaeological discoveries made in the Saouq area, which recounts the history of Dubai and its ancient civilisation.

President Bush also visited the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding in Al Bastakiya where he was briefed about the programmes and activities of the centre.

He interacted with the a group of national leadership groups pursuing the Mohammed Bin Rashid Programme for Leadership Development at the Arab Council and was briefed about their leadership role in both the private and public sectors.

He also visited the Burj Al Arab Hotel where he met and interacted with a number of young Arab leaders who briefed him about their activities at the regional and international levels with the aim of building and strengthening bridges of cultural understanding between Arab youths and their counterparts worldwide.

President Bush expressed appreciation and praised Sheikh Mohammed for his vision of opening a channel of interaction between promising Arab generations and their counterparts worldwide. He expressed his strong support for such a policy.

He said and the American people have great respect for Arabs and Islam. He called for collaboration between the two sides to achieve justice and peace in the Middle East and the world.

The United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) enjoy a robust trade and investment relationship, much of which now has little direct relationship to UAE oil exports, according to a study.

"The UAE-US trade relationship is one of the fastest growing U.S. economic partnerships, both globally and especially in the Gulf region,' said the study published by the US-UAE Business Council.

Written by Dr. Michael Moore, Director of the Institute for International Economics at The George Washington University, the report notes that the UAE's efforts to diversify its economy in recent years have led to growing business opportunities for U.S. companies, especially in the services industry.

The report also states that the increased pace of UAE investments in the U.S. demonstrate the UAE's ongoing commitment to being a steadfast investor in the U.S. marketplace.

US trade surplus in goods with the UAE throughout this decade reflects strong U.S. competitiveness in a number of sectors, said the study, adding that the volume of U.S. exports and foreign direct investment into the UAE in recent years has grown dramatically and is likely to continue to grow in the future.

"U.S. foreign direct investment into the UAE has increased four-fold in the last few years, which reflects a strong vote of confidence by U.S. multinational firms in the UAE's future economic and political stability," said the study.

Summarizing the main highlights of the two way trade between the two countries, the study noted that U.S. goods exports to the UAE increased by 352 percent from $ 2.6 billion in 2001 to $11.9 billion in 2006.

This is far greater than the 42 percent increase for overall U.S. exports around the world, said the report.

The UAE's share in U.S. exports to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) doubled from 25 percent in 2001 to 49 percent in 2006.

The UAE is the single largest export market for U.S. goods and services in the Middle East, said the study, and U.S. exports to the UAE have expanded nearly five-fold from 2000 to 2006. In 2006, the UAE imported $2,571 of U.S. goods per capita, which exceeded that of many important U.S. trading partners including Kuwait ($821), Saudi Arabia ($330), Japan ($468), Germany ($501), Mexico ($1,287), and Israel ($1,558).

The study concluded that US-UAE economic relationship will likely deepen further in coming years, given the UAE's growing status as a regional business powerhouse, the high world price of petroleum and resulting high UAE growth rates, and the UAE's continued political stability and sound economic policies.(Emirates News Agency, WAM)






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