Washington, DC – On October 27th, the US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC) in partnership with The Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT) hosted a Middle East Business Luncheon and Networking Reception in Washington, DC. The event was attended by government and private sector officials from both the US and Qatar, USQBC members, WIIT members, and the wider business community.
The event featured the following representatives:
“It is an honor to be invited to the Middle East Business Luncheon and Reception by the US-Qatar Business Council and the Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT),” said Camille Richardson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of the Middle East and Africa, International Trade Administration, US Commerce Department. “I believe that our shared efforts to promote trade and investment will contribute to economic opportunities in both the US and the MEA region and will give a platform to women-owned businesses locally and abroad to enhance their international growth.”
“The United States and the State of Qatar have a remarkable relationship spanning more than 50 years,” said Fahad Al Dosari, Commercial Attaché, Embassy of the State of Qatar. “Both countries deeply value the important contributions their women make to the economy. We look forward to welcoming American women in Qatar as they seek to expand their business in the country and wider region.”
“Women play an essential role in both the United States and Qatari economy,” said Jasmin Silva Navarro, Co-Chair of Africa and the Middle East, Association of Women in International Trade. “Both countries value their businesswomen and are committed to fostering their leadership and growth public sector resources and initiatives.”
"I have been surrounded by strong women all my life and the importance of their empowerment is one of the many shared values between Qatar and the United States,” said Scott Taylor, President of the US-Qatar Business Council. "Both countries put a tremendous emphasis on education and support programs to ensure women have the tools they need to hit the ground running and succeed in the business world."
“USQBC is proud to work with the many American businesswomen working in the United States and Qatar,” said Mohammed Barakat, Managing Director and Treasurer of the Board of Directors, USQBC. “This third partnership with WIIT reinforces our commitment to supporting women led business in international trade and investments.”
“The United States and Qatar are more than just partners. We are strategic allies with a relationship founded upon trust, mutual interest, and similar values,” said Sheikha Mayes bint Hamad Al-Thani, Managing Director of USQBC Doha Office. “One of these values that I’m particularly proud of is the commitment by both countries to elevate women in the business world and provide them with the tools they need to be successful in their pursuits.”
The Government of Qatar has empowered women in the country through access to education, economic participation, and career opportunities supporting growth. In Qatar’s higher education system, including six American-based universities, there are twice as many female students enrolled in universities as males with nearly two-thirds of all graduates in Qatar being women. As women transition to the working world, Qatari females also receive important incentives and assistance to grow their business. For example, 60% of grants recipients from the Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC) are women. This initiative, among others, have resulted in Qatari females achieving the second-lowest women’s unemployment rate in the world.
The year 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the State of Qatar. This milestone signifies the longevity and strength of the bilateral ties between the two countries. The United States and Qatar have established a solid base for distinguished regional and international political relations, in addition to deep commercial, security, and cultural partnerships. In recognition of this special partnership, following the January 31 visit by Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to the White House, President Joe Biden designated Qatar as a “Major Non-NATO Ally” to the United States.