The fifth Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue, which kicked off in Doha recently, is expected to further expand both nations’ trade and economic ties, according to US ambassador Timmy T Davis.
Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of the launching of the 2022 edition of ‘Discover America’ festival held Sunday at LuLu Hypermarket, Giardino, The Pearl Island, Davis said the United States’ strategic dialogue with Qatar “is a model not just for the region but for the world.”
“When we talk during the workshops of the strategic dialogue about trade and commerce, we’re going to be talking about opportunities, about Qatari priorities, and how we can support those.
“If you think about the goals for each nation with regard to trade and commerce, there’s a huge overlap and intersect; we want to identify the ways in which we can encourage investment in both countries,” Davis pointed out.
Davis also said the strategic dialogue will help the US and Qatar lay out a plan, citing the Qatar National Vision 2030 and how the US “wants to be part of part of that vision” through trade and commerce.
“We’ve got to get beyond energy and massive corporations, and we’ve got to build engagement with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as people-to-people. The more our people engage, the better they are to create opportunities that we don’t see now and the strategic dialogue helps with that,” the ambassador said.
In terms of agreements in the pipeline between both countries, Davis said: “I think you’ll see a lot in the first quarter of 2023 and a lot out of the strategic dialogue.”
On the volume of US-Qatar trade exchange, Davis said trade relations between the US and Qatar are growing and that the US is looking at other sectors outside the energy industry.
“There is a real emphasis now on our part in sub-national diplomacy. All 50 states in the US provide an opportunity for Qatari companies to invest. But we also want SMEs in the US to find opportunities here. The opportunities are growing and I would expect to see far more trade for SMEs from Qatar and the US into next year,” he stressed.
On US-LuLu partnership and its role in enhancing trade with Qatar, Davis said: “Trade relations between Qatar and the US is fantastic; what we want that relationship to do is to grow and to build a strong foundation.”
He added: “Walking through LuLu Hypermarket today, it’s clear that not only are they focused on bringing popular American products, but they’re focused on bringing produce and organic products and other sorts of things that people don’t know are American, such as fresh meat.
“This is an example of how we support building a foundation because it’s not just big corporations doing this work. There are small companies, small farms, and small organisations providing much of this food and many of these products, so it supports not only the American economy but the Qatari economy, as well.”
US ambassador Timmy T Davis. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam