Rabat - The National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State, hosted the Third Annual Ambassadors Forum on March 23rd in Washington D.C. The event provided insight on the advancement of United States trade and investment in the MENA region, and focussed on the challenges facing the region after the so-called Arab Spring.
Rabat – The National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State, hosted the Third Annual Ambassadors Forum on March 23rd in Washington D.C. The event provided insight on the advancement of United States trade and investment in the MENA region, and focussed on the challenges facing the region after the so-called Arab Spring.
400 companies gathered at the State Department in Washington, D.C. to attend the two-hour event that featured panel discussions by Ambassadors and U.S. government officials. Speaking on the first panel entitled “Beyond the Arab Spring: Opportunities for Growth in Economies in Transition,” Assistant Secretary of State Anne Patterson assured the audience that the United States is willing to work with Arab countries to keep up the progress. U.S. exports of goods and services to the region are on the increase, and NUSACC research studies expect that they will stand at $315 billion by 2020. In addition, cooperation between U.S. and Arab governments is increasing not only in areas of common interest, but also in the areas of education and training.
The Honorable Dwight L. Bush, who assumed his post as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco in March 2014, pointed out that Morocco is trying to improve its business climate through embarking on a series of significant economic reforms to attract foreign investors and establish itself on the African continent.
He said, “In the wake of the Arab Spring, Morocco’s political stability and its job creating industrial strategies are serving to diversify its economy and build foreign-investor interest in Morocco as a regional hub for Africa.”
In 2014, Morocco achieved important gains in several sectors such as tourism, aerospace, automotive (including the manufacture of spare parts) and phosphates. However, Mr. Bush stressed that about 30 percent of Moroccan youth struggle under the burden of unemployment.
Concluding his statement, he noted, “The Moroccan government must press forward with its economic reform agenda and make Morocco a recognized brand in America.”
A second panel addressed “Energy Diversification in the MENA Region: Exploring New Frontiers.”
11 U.S. Ambassadors currently serving in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) attended to forum: Hon. Joan Polaschik, Algeria; Hon. William Roebuck, Bahrain; Hon. Michael Ratney, Jerusalem; Hon. Alice Wells, Jordan; Hon. Douglas Silliman, Kuwait; Hon. Deborah Jones, Libya; Hon. Larry André, Mauritania; Hon. Dwight Bush, Morocco; Hon. Dana Shell Smith, Qatar; Hon. Joseph Westphal, Saudi Arabia; Hon. Jacob Walles, Tunisia; and Hon. Barbara Leaf, United Arab Emirates. Eight of their Arab counterparts were also present.