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Middle East Initiatives and Activities Related to Trade and Investment
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Middle East Initiatives and Activities Related to Trade and Investment

Following is information and links to websites on U.S. Government Middle East initiatives and activities related to trade and investment.

U.S. Department of State
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/scp/2005/42825.htm

The United States supports reformers and their efforts to extend freedom and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). MEPI works with civil society organizations and governments to create open and active linkages that are fundamental to democratic reform..

Office of the United States Trade Representative
http://www.ustr.gov/Trade_Agreements/Regional/MEFTA/Section_Index.html

President Bush has proposed a free trade initiative that offers a vision of openness, trade integration, and economic development for the Middle East, the Middle East Free Trade Initiative (MEFTI). The United States will actively support World Trade Organization (WTO) membership for those peaceful countries in the region that seek it, expand the generalized system of preferences (GSP) program to increase trade linkages with the Middle East, offer to negotiate trade and investment framework agreements that establish a framework for expanding and resolving outstanding disputes, offer to negotiate bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with interested countries, negotiate comphrehensive free trade agreements, and provide trade capacity building aid to help countries realize fully the benefits of open markets.   

United States Agency for International Development
http://www.dec.org/pdf_docs/PDABx241.pdf

Trade capacity building is a growing priority in USAID. It is supporting an increasing number of bilateral agreements, continuing ongoing support for WTO implementation and preparation for the Cancun Ministerial, and supporting the development agenda through behind-the-border and beyond-the-border activities. Nearly 30% of USAID trade capacity funding is in the Arab world -- $140 million in FY 2002. Examples of ongoing and new USAID trade capacity building programs in the Arab world are: Morocco Free Trade Agreement and planned support for promoting tourism and related job creation in rural areas, Customs Reform and Trade Facilitation in Egypt, WTO and free trade agreement (FTA) implementation (e.g., introducing ASYCUDA to customs) and support for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone in Jordan, WTO awareness in Lebanon, promoting industrial estates and investment mobilization in West Bank/Gaza, and a proposed economic governance program that includes a component to re-integrate Iraq into the global economy.

Department of Commerce
http://www.export.gov/iraq

In spring 2003 Commerce created the Iraq Reconstruction Task Force within the International Trade Administration to help U.S. companies participate in the economic rebuilding of Iraq. There have been several interagency, sectoral, and private sector briefings focusing primarily on U.S. Iraq reconstruction contracts. The Commerce Department has also prepared a business guide and an analysis of commercial law in Iraq available along with other documents on their web site listed above.

  
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