Qatar offers a substantial number of compelling advantages to American small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking to establish or expand their operations in the country’s free zones, USQBC official in Doha has said.
Sheikha Mayes al-Thani, managing director of USQBC in Qatar, said the country’s free zones, such as Ras Bufontas and Umm Alhoul, offer competitive advantages and incentives for American SMEs looking to establish or expand their presence in Qatar and the region.
In an interview with Gulf Times, she said: “These zones strategically position SMEs close to major transportation hubs, which facilitates efficient distribution. Their modern infrastructure and advanced technology offer a conducive business environment.
“In free zones, regulatory processes have been streamlined, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and expediting the setup process for American SMEs. SMEs navigating local regulations benefit from the supportive business ecosystem, including advisory services and networking opportunities.”
Sheikha Mayes pointed out that these free zones serve as a gateway to regional markets, providing access to the broader Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) and Middle East markets. It is also important to note that the commitment to modern green infrastructure adds to the appeal of the project to investors, she noted.
Asked about her outlook on Qatar-US economic relations and what role USQBC can play in enhancing bilateral trade and investment, especially in the context of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the post-World Cup economic opportunities, Sheikha Mayes stressed that both nations’ economic relations “are poised to grow in the future.”
She said, “The USQBC could be an important catalyst in maximising bilateral trade and investment opportunities. The council can contribute significantly to the enduring success of the economic collaboration between the two countries by aligning initiatives with the ‘3rd Qatar National Development Strategy 2030’, capturing opportunities and providing essential support and networking platforms.”
Sheikha Mayes emphasised that the council is closely collaborating with its partners, such as the US Embassy in Doha and other key players to promote and facilitate business investment between Qatar and the US.
“We have established a strong partnership with the US Embassy, as well as with partners and other stakeholders. As part of our efforts to stay informed about business and investment initiatives, we maintain regular communication channels with the Commercial Service section of the US Embassy.
“USQBC is engaging in embassy-organised events and exchanging relevant information on business opportunities and market trends, as well as collaborating on the exchange of information to the US and Qatari business communities,” she said.
Sheikha Mayes said the council is also organising joint business outreach programmes with the US Embassy to promote networking and collaboration, as well as scheduling regular co-ordination meetings with all stakeholders to discuss ongoing initiatives and plan collaborative activities.
“We have also established a collaborative relationship with the Qatar Financial Centre authorities, understanding their priorities and regulations related to foreign investment. Collectively, these strategies contribute to fostering a conducive business environment between Qatar and the US,” she further explained.
Shekiha Mayes also said the USQBC is leveraging the presence of six major US universities in Qatar and the thousands of Qatari students studying in the US to foster educational and cultural exchange and co-operation.
She said, “We are focused on facilitating joint programmes that facilitate collaboration and partnership between the USQBC and the universities. Our institution provides accredited internship programmes, such as the one we have with Georgetown University Qatar, which enhance cross-cultural experiences for students by providing exposure to a professional business environment.”
Sheikha Mayes added: “In advancing these strategies, the goal is to contribute to the development of an interconnected and globally aware community, which can foster a rich environment for mutual learning and cooperation.”
Related Story