Qatar-U.S. Economic Forum reflects robust partnership
The forum, organised by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce in collaboration with the Qatar Chamber, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Qatar Businessmen Association and the U.S.-Qatar Business Council, gathered more than 200 businessmen and Qatari officials, including business executives from major U.S. companies.
Qatar and the U.S. have strong economic, trade and investment ties that were reinforced by the signing of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in 2004.
This economic partnership has benefited Qatar, the U.S. and the citizens of the two countries.
The United States is one of the largest and most important trading partners of Qatar. As HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani said at the forum on Wednesday, the volume of trade between the two countries has doubled from $3bn to $6bn in the past 10 years, and during the past five years, the volume of goods traded between the two countries amounted to about $24bn.
He also noted that the U.S. imports to Qatar accounted for 16% of the country’s total imports.
On Qatari investments in the US, the Minister said Qatar Airways has allocated $92bn to enhance the U.S. economy with the purchase of 332 Boeing aircraft, which provided around 527,000 jobs.
In 2015, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) had pledged to invest $35bn in the U.S. over a five-year period, and an additional $10bn to be invested in the infrastructure sector.
Citing a report from the World Bank, Sheikh Ahmed said Qatar’s GDP will reach around 2.8%, the highest among GCC countries.
Several discussions were held on the sidelines of the forum in Miami between Qatari and U.S. business sector representatives.
These were aimed at strengthening existing economic partnership between the two countries. The discussions also centred on investment opportunities between the two sides in sectors such as food security, tourism, logistics projects, and infrastructure.
Senior officials in Miami have also expressed their keenness to seek further investment opportunities with Qatar.
Miami City Mayor Francis X Suarez said Miami is one of the cities that have moved from a local city to an international destination. “We look forward to further co-operation with international cities such as Doha and Miami, which has expanded significantly over the past six years,” he said.
From Miami, the economic roadshow will bring the Qatari delegation to Washington, DC, Columbia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
The roadshow is taking place amidst a series of challenges faced by Qatar following the unilateral decision by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain to impose an illegal siege on it to undermine its position as an independent country.
However, economic ties between Qatar and the U.S. have remained unaffected by the siege. On the other hand, as is evident from the Qatar-US Economic Forum, they have become more robust.
Qatar has demonstrated that it has succeeded in strengthening its independence global standing more than ever before. The Gulf crisis has provided the country with the opportunity to further open up its economy.
Qatar has succeeded in developing direct trade lines with a number of strategic ports and turning them into main trading partners of the State. Qatar’s policies have stimulated all sectors to increase their productivity, and positively impacted the national economy. ■