Multi-billion dollar Qatari investments in the US are playing a significant role in the economic development of cities in America, an official of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) has said.
In 2015, HE the Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi announced in Washington that the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) had pledged to invest $35bn in the fields of energy, technology, and real estate over five years, as well as an additional $10bn for the infrastructure sector in the US.
“I believe that much of this $35bn has already been invested, and I see this as the tip of the iceberg,” NUSACC president and CEO David Hamod told Gulf Times.
“In addition to showcasing Qatar-US commercial relationship, these investments are bringing economic development to US cities. We have seen this in Washington, DC, for example, where Qatar’s investment in the City Center DC project has helped bring commercial activity to a part of the city that was underutilised.
“Another example that comes to mind is Qatar’s contributions to US cities that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The State of Qatar’s humanitarian investments played an important role in helping these battered communities get back on their feet,” Hamod continued.
But aside from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Hamod emphasised that private Qatari investments also play a “substantial” role in economic development of the US.
“People tend to focus on the investments of the QIA, and they often forget about direct investments being made by Qatari individuals. These are substantial and, over time, I hope that these direct investments by private businessmen and businesswomen will outpace those coming from sovereign wealth funds.
“Qatari investors appreciate the stability and security that the US economy offers and, in my opinion, these investments help to bring our two peoples closer together,” said Hamod, who was in Qatar recently for meetings with several ministries and private sector leaders.
While in Qatar, Hamod said he met with officials from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, Qatar Chamber, and Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA), which are part of high-level meetings being held in the US from April 1 to 8.
“The NUSACC supports the forums, roundtables, and B2B matchmaking meetings that will take place in the US. We are doing this in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, the US-Qatar Business Council, American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Qatar Chamber, and the QBA. We are also in very close contact, of course, with the Embassy of Qatar in Washington, DC and the US Embassy in Doha. This is a team effort.
“Because of our Chamber’s nationwide network, we are uniquely positioned to bring the two business communities together, as we have been doing for decades. This visit will focus on the East Coast of the US. It is the first such visit, but I’m quite confident that it will not be the last,” Hamod pointed out.