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NFTC Welcomes Administrationís Promotion of Economic Development for the Middle East and North Africa
Date: 5/19/2011
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, (202) 822-9491

Washington DC – Following President Obama's speech on the Middle East and North Africa, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today applauded the Administration for its commitment to promoting economic development in the region. The NFTC released the following statement regarding the Administration's announcement of a new Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative in the Middle East and North Africa.

"As the President stated today, economic development is a means to realizing the promise of prosperity and helping to sure up the transition to democracy that many nations in the region are pursuing today," said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. "The U.S. business community has a vital stake in strengthening economic and trade ties with countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The change now sweeping the region provides a window of opportunity to engage as these nations address chronic problems of high unemployment, cumbersome regulatory environments and barriers to investment."

The NFTC co-founded and manages the U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Coalition, which is composed of over 120 business groups, companies and other organizations committed to expanding free trade and investment not only between the U.S. and Middle East, but also among countries in the region. The primary objective of the coalition is to encourage economic development, transparent and accountable governance, and enhanced prospects for the people of the Middle East and North Africa. The NFTC has also led U.S. business coalitions in support of Free Trade Agreements with Morocco, Bahrain, and Oman, the WTO accession of Saudi Arabia and further trade liberalization initiatives with Egypt, Libya, the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the region.

"For nearly a decade, the NFTC has engaged with the U.S. government and governments in the region to promote best practices in the rule of law, regulatory transparency and further integration into the global trading system that promotes international trade and investment with and among countries in the region," said NFTC Vice President for Regional Trade Issues Chuck Dittrich. "The fact is that in many countries, the same regulations and practices that sustain hidden corruption and stifle innovation, not only keep out U.S. business, but also inhibit indigenous entrepreneurship and business creation, which must occur to address rising youth unemployment and to bring to fruition the economic aspirations of those throughout the region."

"Countries in the region that have implemented high standards of reform and trade liberalization have seen the benefits, and can lead the way to further economic integration," Dittrich continued. "U.S. companies support that process and want to be a part of it."



About NFTC
Advancing Global Commerce for Nearly A Century- The National Foreign Trade Council ( is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.
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