Concerned about the impact of the ongoing dispute in the GCC region, the US government wants a speedy resolution to the Gulf crisis, an official of the US embassy in Qatar has said.
Speaking at the ‘Doing Business and Investment in the US and Qatar Forum’, charges d’affaires William Grant said: “The US remains very concerned about this dispute. We want to see it resolved quickly. We’re concerned about the impact on regional efforts taking place here and on issues of high importance to the US, including military activities.
“We want to see GCC unity restored. We want to see the resumption of the cooperation among the states of the GCC that exist previously…US officials have been active since the dispute began in taking steps to try to bring parties together to talk about the areas of dispute…we want to see this problem resolved.”
The forum, organised by the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority and the US embassy in Qatar, supports the QFC’s strategic objective to promote opportunities available in Qatar for companies looking to grow their business.
Grant also said the US government is committed to its “longstanding and expanding relationship” with Qatar, and to increase trade and investment that would benefit both countries.
“The relationship between the US and Qatar, which already was very strong, has grown stronger. We’re seeing very good returns in diplomatic work, military cooperation, expanded trade, investment, education, cooperation in stopping terrorism and financing terrorism, cooperation in protecting workers’ rights coming from other countries, and to stop the trafficking of persons. The quality of the engagement we have with the state of Qatar and various institutions is improving every month,” he said.
Grant said trade volume between the US and Qatar stood at over $6bn last year. Majority of US exports to Qatar is currently concentrated in transportation, particularly aviation, vehicles, electronics, and communication equipment.
“One of our objectives from the US government is to try to diversify that range of exports. We’re looking to bring in more food products, particularly fresh fruit products. We’re looking to expand to healthcare, and a few other fields to build on the good base we have and increase the range of exports that we have here.
“In addition, it is also part of our strategy to expand the already significant trade in services between the US and Qatar. We have American companies providing a range of services in energy, financial services, high technology, healthcare, and others,” he said.
Grant said the US also witnessed an increase in the interest of private investors in Qatar in “some strong performing fields” like real estate, hospitality, retail, and technology.
Citing the significant role of government in creating conditions to promote and support business, Grant also said a follow-up to the ‘Economic and Investment Dialogue’ held in Doha last year is expected to be held in Washington “in the first quarter of 2018.”
“The purpose is to bring policy makers who have an impact on economic activities to identify barriers to future economic success and to address them, and to pursue government policies that would facilitate more trade, investment, economic growth, and jobs,” he said.
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