*Team to visit Miami, Washington, DC, Charleston and Raleigh
* Miami to host Qatar-US Economic Forum on Wednesday
A Qatari delegation headed by HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani started its ‘economic tour' of the US Monday, it was announced in an official statement.
Beginning in Miami, Florida, the tour will take the Qatari officials to Washington, DC, Columbia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
The minister and the accompanying delegation will meet with business leaders and officials to highlight and bolster prospects for economic, trade and investment co-operation, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) said in the statement.
The Qatari delegation includes Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to the US and representatives from the MEC, Ministry of Energy and Industry, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Qatar Chamber, Qatar Airways, Qatar Foundation, Doha Film Institute, Qatar Stock Exchange, Free Zones Authority, Qatar Financial Centre, beIN Sports, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, QNB, Manateq, Qatari Diar, Katara Hospitality, Qatar Tourism Authority and several other major entities in Qatar.
Commenting on the tour, HE Sheikh Ahmed said: “Over the past decade, Qatar has cemented its partnership with the US in the form of direct investments, joint ventures and trade deals. These investments have contributed to the creation of countless new opportunities for investors and businessmen from both countries.
“More than 658 American companies are currently operating in Qatar, of which 117 are fully owned US companies. The volume of US investments in Qatar amounted to QR26.3bn.”
Tomorrow, Miami will host the Qatar-US Economic Forum, which will bring together more than 200 businesspersons and officials from Qatar, along with around 200 businesspersons and CEOs of major US companies. Business-to-business sessions will be conducted on the sidelines of the forum as attendees seek to bolster the strong and long-standing economic partnership between Qatar and the US, the statement notes.
The Qatari delegation is visiting US cities that have seen a surge in Qatari investments. The programme features economic forums, bilateral discussions, meetings between Qatari businesspersons and their American counterparts, and round-table discussions in the fields of real estate, investment, hospitality, tourism, hotel, technology, health, medicine, banking, law, public-private partnerships and infrastructure projects. Exhibitions will also be organised on the sidelines of the tour in the US cities that will be visited. The exhibitions will shed light on Qatar’s culture heritage, major investments and economic capabilities.
US-Qatari bilateral economic relations have grown significantly since the signing of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement – or TIFA - back in 2004.
Today, the US is considered a strong trading partner and is the primary source for Qatari imports. In 2017, 16% of Qatar’s imports came from the US, according to the MEC.
In 2015, QIA pledged to invest $45bn in the US over a five-year period, of which $10bn will be invested in infrastructure.
Four years ago, Qatar Airways launched direct flights between Doha and Miami, streamlining business access to Florida. The airline also provided a $92bn boost to the US economy through its purchase of American aircraft, which supported 123,000 jobs in the US, the MEC statement added.
Qatar’s partnership with, and support for, the American people extends beyond bilateral trade and encompasses humanitarian projects. Qatar has established a $100mn fund to help American victims of Hurricane Katrina and gave $30mn in aid for Hurricane Harvey.
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