QIA channelling up to $45bn of investments in US: Al Kuwari

September 15, 2020

Doha: Qatar is committed to a multicultural trading system, and seeks to strengthen international cooperation frameworks to ensure the continuity of trade as the engine for economic recovery, Minister of Commerce and Industry H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari said yesterday.

Addressing the Private Sector Engagement event held on the sidelines of the Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue through video conferencing technology, Minister Al Kuwari reiterated that the country has put in place a system which ensures that companies can have the utmost confidence in their investments, and provides them with the greatest potential for success.

He said Qatar looks forward to embarking upon the second edition of the Qatar Economic Roadshow in the US. Qatar-US bilateral trade has reached over $9.43bn in 2019, an increase of nearly 90 percent compared to just three years ago.

The Qatar Investment Authority is channeling up to $45bn in investments in the United States with partners across a wide variety of sectors from coast to coast, in addition to investments in the US energy sector by Qatar Petroleum.

The US is now the leading source of Qatar’s imports, which have grown more than 100 percent since 2017. Qatar is also investing heavily in the US, partnering with American companies in a range of sectors, the Minister said.

Minister Al Kuwari added that Qatar is currently focusing on developing its private sector, SMEs in particular, and on facilitating their participation in development projects. This strategy is already paying dividends, with the industrial sector attracting more than $72bn in investment in 2019. He added that Qatar’s spending on infrastructure projects and its expansion of the Small and Medium Scale Industrial Area will provide myriad opportunities for the private sector to tap into and build on this momentum.

During the event, Minister Al Kuwari also announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Widam Food Company and Tyson Fresh Meats. The MoU aims to establish bilateral trade relations in the meat field.

The Minister went on to invite the participants to visit Qatar to explore its business environment and take advantage of the opportunities offered, noting that most attendees are already familiar with the Qatari market, which is home to more than 850 US companies that are either fully owned by US investors or in the form of joint firms.

Speaking earlier during the opening of the private sector event, Minister Al Kuwari reiterated that the year 2020 has seen major achievements for Qatar, despite the significant challenges arising from the outbreak of COVID-19, which disrupted supply chains and normal business operations around the globe. He said the country has stepped up efforts to enhance its advanced logistical networks, and capitalised on its high-quality infrastructure to consolidate its position as a regional and global trade and investment hub.

He added that Qatar’s highly developed infrastructure acts as an important catalyst for companies to invest in value-added sectors, particularly the industrial, technological and logistics sectors.

He also highlighted the laws enacted by Qatar to attract and encourage investments, and added that the PPP law will deliver a major boost to Qatar’s business environment as preparations continue to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup with the development of new projects.

The Minister noted that Qatar’s recent reforms have already bolstered the inflow of foreign direct investments, and created a dynamic business environment that appropriately protects and supports foreign investors.

He explained that these strong economic bonds have helped solidify the foundation of the broader Qatar-US partnership, and voiced his hope that bilateral relationship between both countries would continue for generations to come in light of the role that American companies have played as an integral contributor to Qatar’s national development.

Also speaking during the event, Qatar Chamber Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani said the USQatar Strategic Dialogue highlighted the strength of bilateral relations, and urged Qatari and US businessmen to forge new economic alliances and commercial partnerships that benefit both sides.

Qatar Businessmen Association (QBA) member Sheikh Mohammed bin Faisal Al Thani also spoke during the event on behalf of QBA Chairman Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, The webinar was organised by the US-Qatar Business Council in cooperation with the US Chamber of Commerce.

It brought together representatives of government entities, and major Qatari companies from various sectors, in addition to the US private sector and senior executives in a number of industries, including energy, defence, financial services, engineering, construction, health, technology and security.

In a separate meeting held on the sidelines of the third Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue, Minister Al Kuwari also spoke with the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce Tom Donohue, Senior-Vice President for Middle East and Turkey Affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce Khush Choksy, President of the USQatar Business Council Anne Patterson, and the council’s Executive Director Mohamed Barakat.

Discussions centred upon efforts to bolster the contribution of the council to the advancement of shared interests and mechanisms for the development of communication channels between Qatari and American companies, and business events in both countries.

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