A delegation of over 100 Qatari business representatives traveled to Charleston and Raleigh this week to promote bilateral trade and investment opportunities between the US and Qatar.
Hundreds of US companies have participated in the Qatar-US Economic Forums held in Miami, Florida, Washington, DC, Charleston, South Carolina and Raleigh, North Carolina over the past three weeks.
Hosted by the Ministry of Economy & Commerce of the State of Qatar and co-organized by the US-Qatar Business Council, the forums have showcased the breadth of business and investment opportunities open to US businesses in partnership with Qatar.
The Qatar-US Economic Forums are part of a nation-wide, year-long series of business and trade events and follow the successful United States-Qatar Strategic Dialogue held in Washington, DC in January this year, which established a shared vision for Qatar and US relations, both strategic and commercial.
The Qatar-US Economic Forum roadshow drew to a close in Raleigh on Wednesday of this week.
The Minister of Economy & Commerce, His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani said the United States is one of the largest and most important trading partners of Qatar. He said Qatar has been increasing its investments in the US for many years, creating thousands of jobs across America.
"15,000 American citizens live in Qatar, where 5,000 highly skilled individuals are currently working in the private sector.
"Qatar already partners with numerous American companies, such as Boeing, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Raytheon," he said.
"Qatar Airways has invested around $92 billion to support the American economy by buying 332 US-made aircraft, which creates more than 527,000 jobs."
Qatar Investment Authority also announced this week it has signed an MoU with the University of South Carolina, further strengthening the connection between Qatar and the region. The MoU aims to encourage collaboration and enhance investment opportunities between the two entities.
The agreement builds on the strong educational ties between Qatar and the US with six US universities hosted in Doha and $400 million invested by Qatar in educational partnerships.
"The higher education community is central to research and development, innovation and future economic growth. Having an esteemed partner such as the University of South Carolina is a perfect complement to our efforts to invest in the US economy and helps generate jobs and growth here and globally," said al-Sowaidi.
US-Qatar Business Council President, Ambassador Anne Patterson, said the roadshow has demonstrated business leaders from Qatar are actively seeking US trade partners. She said Qatar has undertaken significant reforms to drive growth and the economy.
"During these discussions, US businesses have learned about new opportunities for investment and partnership with Qatar. They have learned that American firms can operate in Qatar with 100% foreign ownership.
"In 2018 alone, American businesses will have the opportunity to bid on infrastructure, technology and development projects worth up $29 billion."
US business leaders participated in a series of workshops, panel discussions and round-table meetings with the Qatari delegation which included the Qatar Ministry of Economy and Commerce, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Energy and Industry, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Qatari Businessmen Association, Qatar Airways, Qatar Stock Exchange, Doha Film Institute, Qatar Foundation, Manateq, Qatari Diar, and the organizing body for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
"This series of Economic Forums showcased the breadth of the Qatari economy and made clear that Qatar is not only open for business, but interested in deeply enhancing its trade relationship with the United States" said Mohammed Barakat, Managing Director of the US-Qatar Business Council.
"We look forward to supporting the Ministry of Economy & Commerce and the burgeoning Qatari private sector as we further develop the trade relationship, and we look forward to bringing the series back later this year to new cities," he added.