The Middle East North Africa (MENA) region has grown in geopolitical importance since the 2011 Arab Spring and played a strategic role in foreign affairs as a result of its great economic potential. While not standardized, the MENA region typically consists of the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
MENA’s trade with the world is concentrated in a small number of products (oil exports and imports of manufactured goods) and among a small number of trading partners (particularly the European Union). In 2018, the total value of U.S. exports to the MENA region stood at $15 billion, with the following countries being the top 5 destinations: Egypt, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
The United States has Free Trade Agreements in force with the following countries:
In addition, the U.S. holds Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFAs) and Bilateral Investments Treaties (BITs) with many other MENA countries, which provide the context for U.S. trade and investment policy dialogues with these governments, dialogues which are aimed at increasing U.S. exports as well as assisting in the development of intra-regional economic ties.
ANSI has worked with a number of U.S. government and private sector partners to coordinate standards and policy related activities with key regulators and standardization representatives in gulf and North African region. ANSI has signed MoUs with the following:
Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality (EOS) - 2008
Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organization (SASO) - 2007
Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization (JSMO) - 2012
Standardization Organization for the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gul (GSO-GCC) – 2009
In March 2019, ANSI led a U.S. Department of Commerce-certified trade mission to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. ANSI staff served as head of delegation for the trade mission, which was the first of its kind to focus on standards issues. More than 15 meetings took place, including each national and regional standards body (ESMA, SASO, GSO), government and municipal ministries, and industry organizations in both countries.
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