The Qatar-US Economic Forum started on Tuesday in Washington DC, coinciding with the visit of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
The event is organised by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) in co-operation with Qatar Chamber, American Chamber of Commerce, Qatari Businessmen Association, Qatar-US Business Council and a number of US entities.
In a statement issued on the occasion of the start of the Forum, HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani stressed the depth and power of the bilateral relationships between Qatar and the US.
“Washington is the second stop of the current US economic tour, which aims at focusing on the role of Qatari investment in enhancing partnerships between the two countries that produced more than one million job opportunities in the US,” he said, while pointing out that the Qatari business community enjoys strong relationships in Washington City.
HE Sheikh Ahmed pointed out that Qatar increased its investment in the US over the years, which contributed to the creation of thousands of jobs across the country and investments through partnerships with many American companies such as ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and Raytheon.
The minister noted there are about 15,000 Americans working in Qatar, of whom about 5,000 are in jobs that require high skills within the private sector. Sheikh Ahmed stressed the role of the Qatar Investment Authority, which has allocated $45bn of investments in the US between 2015 and 2020, of which $10bn will be directed for investment in the infrastructure sector.
“These investments constitute 23% of Qatar’s GDP,” he asserted. Referring to Qatari investments in the US, HE Sheikh Ahmed said Qatar Airways has allocated about $92bn to support the US economy by purchasing 332 US-made aircraft, supporting more than 527,000 jobs.
Highlighting the Qatari private sector’s investments in the US, the minister stressed that the latter injected more than $5bn in technology, hospitality, real estate and home trade, which contributed to supporting the US economy.
US-Qatari bilateral economic relations have grown significantly since the signing of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, back in 2004. Today, the US is a strong trading partner and a primary source for Qatari imports.
During the past five years, the volume of goods trade between the two countries amounted to about $24bn. There are currently about 650 US companies operating in Qatar, including about 117 wholly owned by the US as well as 55 US companies operating under the umbrella of the Qatar Financial Centre. The volume of US investments in Qatar amounted to QR26.3bn.
The Forum was attended by HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, chairman of Qatar Businessmen Association; Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, chairman of Qatar Chamber; ambassador Anne Patterson, chairperson of Qatar-US Business Forum, in addition to 200 businessmen and officials from Qatar and 200 businesspersons and executives from the US.