*Volume of trade between Qatar and US reached about $24bn in last five years
Qatar Petroleum’s $10bn investment in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Texas will contribute to generating 45,000 jobs in the United States, said HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani.
Addressing a reception organised by the US Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Qatar-US Business Council and the Embassy of Qatar in Washington, the minister highlighted the bilateral relationship between the two countries and Qatari investments in the United States.
During the last five years, Sheikh Ahmed said the volume of trade between Qatar and the US reached about $24bn, noting that 84% of the trade balance between the two countries, equivalent to $20bn, was in favour of the United States.
In 2017, the US topped as the source of imports for Qatar. Last year, the US accounted for 16% of total Qatari imports.
According to Sheikh Ahmed, Qatar has been increasing its investments in the US for many years, creating thousands of jobs across America. These include partnerships with numerous American companies, such as Boeing, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Raytheon.
In addition, 15,000 American citizens live in Qatar, where 5,000 highly skilled individuals are currently working in the private sector.
Touching on Qatari investments in the US, the minister said Qatar Airways alone provided a $92bn boost to the US economy through the purchase of as many as 332 American aircraft - a deal that supports more than 527,000 jobs.
He said $146bn worth of exports and orders to Qatar have generated one million American jobs that depend on doing business with Qatar.
Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has also pledged to invest $45bn between 2015 and 2020. Of that, $10bn will be channeled into the infrastructure sector, Sheikh Ahmed said, noting that these investments represent 23% of Qatar’s GDP.
Highlighting investments by the private sector, Sheikh Ahmed said private companies have heavily invested in the US economy, with more than $5bn in technology, hospitality, real estate and household retail.
The minister noted Qatari-US relations extended beyond trade and investment and aimed at helping people of both nations overcome challenges and capitalise on opportunities.
Qatar has donated $100mn to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, which contributed in community development, building houses and hospitals. Qatar also provided $30mn in aid after Hurricane Harvey.
Sheikh Ahmed said the Qatari private sector was also playing a major role in US corporate social responsibility and cited the privately funded “Al Faisal Without Borders Foundation,” which launched many projects to help rehabilitate American ex-convicts.
Building on all these facts, Sheikh Ahmed said the first stage of the ‘economic roadshow’, targets 10 states in the US, and was kicked off in Miami, Florida. Besides Washington DC, it will be held in North Carolina and South Carolina.
The second stage covering other US states will follow later. The roadshow reflects Qatar’s keenness on taking bilateral economic relations to a new level and increasing cooperation between the private sectors in both countries.
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce said more than 200 businessmen and Qatari officials participating in the economic roadshow are looking to bolster investment partnerships with their US counterparts through economic forums and bilateral meetings.