Denver, Colorado - The US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC), Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and World Trade Center Denver, collaborated on a business visit to Denver, Colorado on January 27th to engage with key policy makers and the local business community to expand and enhance economic partnerships between the State of Qatar and the State of Colorado.
The business visit featured the following representatives:
During the business visit, Fahad Al-Dosari, The State of Qatar Commercial Attaché to the United States; and Mohammed Barakat, Managing Director and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of US-Qatar Business Council, met separately with Dianne Primavera, Lieutenant Governor of Colorado; and Michael Hancock, Mayor of Denver; to discuss enhancing business ties.
Upon the occasion of the event, Rashid Al-Deheimi, Consul General of the State of Qatar said, “Qatar sees many opportunities to further increase bilateral business and investment opportunities with Colorado. This event illuminated the many areas where we can enhance commercial partnerships between Colorado and Qatar, and we look forward to furthering these discussions.”
“Colorado’s economy is building back stronger so there is tremendous opportunity, across a variety of industries, to expand our international reach for increased commercial partnerships between our two communities,” said Dianne Primavera, Lieutenant Governor of Colorado.
“These exchanges present opportunities for increased bilateral trade and investment in synergistic industries that Denver and Qatar share, from technology and agriculture to professional services, cleantech, smart cities and many more. We also see this as another indicator that Denver’s reputation as a thriving global city and international market continues to grow,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said.
During the Business Seminar hosted at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, participants were able to network, learn, and explore business opportunities between Colorado and the State of Qatar. The event included several presentations. Fahad Al-Dosari presented on Qatar’s attractive economic environment while Mohammed Barakat discussed the strength of the US-Qatar business relationship.
“The State of Qatar is committed to expanding the economic partnership with Colorado,” said Fahad Al-Dosari, The State of Qatar Commercial Attaché to the United States. “We look forward to further conversations on how our business communities can work together in areas such as manufacturing, agriculture, logistics, and infrastructure & engineering.”
“Colorado and Qatar have already shared a flourishing trade relationship which is evidenced by Colorado having exported $11,974,131 of goods to Qatar in 2019,” said Mohammed Barakat, Managing Director and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of USQBC. “This visit demonstrates the commitment both sides have to increasing investment and commercial ties across their many overlapping industries.”
During the Business Seminar, there was a special virtual session presented in collaboration with Colorado Smart Cities Alliance and Colorado Cleantech Industry Association. During this session, Mohammed Al-Abdulla, CEO of Doha Venture Capital (DVC) and Hamad Al-Mohannadi, Business Development Manager from Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA), delivered presentations on recent developments and incentives for foreign investors in Qatar Free Zones as well as Doha Venture Capital Fund’s strategic investment priorities.
“Qatar offers investors a package of incentives that include benefiting from trade ties, bilateral investment protection, tax and free trade agreements, right to properties ownership, and labor laws which give foreign companies a competitive advantage”, said Hamad Al-Mohannadi, Business Development Manager at QFZA. “In addition to that, Qatar Free Zones Authority offers attractive investment benefits to registered companies such as tax exemptions, exceptional services & modern facilities, and partnership opportunities with large companies in the country to maximize production benefits,” Al-Mohannadi added.
There is significant overlap between key industries in Qatar and Colorado including manufacturing, defense, financial services, energy, infrastructure, transportation, logistics, and technology. Colorado ranks in the top 10 for solar energy jobs and has the 4th highest concentration of tech jobs in the country, both of which are significant areas of interest for Qatar’s expanding economy.
“Colorado companies are some of the nation’s best and true leaders in their respective industries,” said J. J. Ament, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. “We are proud to welcome organizations like the US-Qatar Business Council to our community to build relationships and share opportunities.”
The bilateral business ties between the United States and Qatar continue to solidify with the total economic relationship between them exceeding $200 billion as of 2019. The US is Qatar’s largest foreign direct investor with a total of $110.6 billion in FDI and is the largest single source of exports to Qatar at $6.5 billion in goods in 2019. In the past five years, Qatar has imported over $23 billion from the US, and over 850 US companies now operate in Qatar.
“We look forward to many new partnerships and commercial opportunities between the State of Qatar and the State of Colorado,” said Karen Gerwitz. “Both Qatar and the US are some of the best places in the world for business, and we see many opportunities for Colorado companies in Qatar and welcome Qatari investment in Colorado.”
Qatar is also an increasingly large investor in the United States having pledged over $45 billion in investment over the coming years with key investments already having been made across multiple sectors including oil & gas, financial technology, real estate, food production, and hospitality, among others.
Denver is home to one of the largest American IT companies, Palantir Technologies, which specializes in Big Data Analytics and already has strong ties to Qatar. The company recently relocated its headquarters to Denver which reinforces Denver’s position as a leading technology hub in the country.
Qatar Free Zones are designed to provide investors with a global competitive advantage across various key sectors, in addition to providing a business-friendly environment and world-class services that contribute to enhancing the financial and operational performance of companies.