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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

March 1, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Getting down to business with the UAE

Seattle becomes the sixth American city with service by Emirates Airline, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates. The airline is a big Boeing customer, helping make Washington the biggest state exporter to the Arabian peninsula country. Exports totaled $2.75 billion in 2011. In addition to the big transportation sector, $119 million in Washington agricultural products were exported, as well as $24 million in computer and electronics products.

According to Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, “the U.A.E. and Washington have shared a rich exchange of goods and ideas in the areas of aerospace, agriculture, information technology, and manufacturing. Washington-based companies such as Boeing Commercial Aircraft, Microsoft, and Starbucks have been instrumental in driving this flow and expansion of commerce. Further, this exchange has helped to support American jobs with a growing number of exports leaving Seattle’s port for the Emirates — a transit point to significant Asian markets, including China and India; and America’s top export market in the broader Middle East North Africa region.”

The UAE and some other Gulf states have not been part of the Arab Spring protests. As Yochi Dreazen of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting wrote, “Governments here don’t derive their power from fear and brutality; the nations have little history of political activism; and oil wealth allows the regimes to effectively buy popular support.” This wealth, along with rising oil prices, has also helped cushion the worst fallout from the Dubai real-estate crash.

The daily flights are a big sign of Seattle’s world footprint, as well as a reminder that the Puget Sound region benefits from its world focus no matter the slow growth of the American economy. Oh, and Boeing helps.

And Don’t Miss: About those high gasoline prices — look again || Zero Hedge

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Seattle, Dubai

Emirates direct service

Now go get some sun

Comments | More in Airlines, Boeing, International economy, Ports of Seattle and Tacoma

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