The series of high-level meetings held between Qatari and US public and private sector officials, especially the visit of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to the US, had played a significant role in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, according to a US Chamber official.
“The Emir’s visit to the US is vital on several levels. At the US Chamber, we are focused on opportunities to deepen and expand the commercial and investment relationship,” said Khush Choksy, senior vice-president for the Middle East at the US Chamber.
“When you have the Emir visiting, it sharpens the focus of American companies on Qatar and provides a major platform to highlight existing and new opportunities for businesses to pursue projects, ventures, and investments,” he continued.
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) recently organised the Qatar-US Economic Forum in Washington, DC, in co-operation with Qatar Chamber, American Chamber of Commerce, Qatari Businessmen Association, Qatar-US Business Council, and a number of official US organisations.
The forum, which coincided with the visit of His Highness the Emir to the US, forms part of the US economic facilitation tour that covers a number of US cities such as Miami, Florida; Charleston (South Carolina); and Raleigh (North Carolina).
“Qatar has made several reforms to open its market to investors and companies,” according to Choksy, who said the US Chamber aims to educate businesses across the US about the numerous commercial and investment opportunities across a variety of sectors in Qatar, as well as the enhanced business environment there.
As part of the recent visit, he said the chamber co-hosted a series of economic forums with the US-Qatar Business Council, with the goal of raising awareness about several positive developments.
Asked how the high-level meetings could enhance Qatar-US co-operation and trade relations, Choksy said: “It is important to regularly and consistently bring together policymakers and business leaders to have an informed discussion on the issues affecting the business community.
“These types of high-level interactions, in which government and business are together at the table, enable us to work collaboratively to remove barriers to trade, as well as to explore ideas that will strengthen co-operation and economic ties. The US Chamber strongly supports this type of practical interaction which can lead to mutually beneficial results.”
Steve Lutes, vice-president for the Middle East at the US Chamber, added: “The US Chamber aims to grow the economic relationship between both the countries. Our efforts include bringing business delegations to Doha, helping organise events with government and business leaders, and working with policymakers in our governments to make smart reforms that attract investment and encourage more commercial activity.”
In 2016, Lutes was in Doha with an American business delegation for the US-Qatar Economic and Investment Dialogue.
“The dialogue has since been elevated to a US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, and earlier this year, we hosted an event in Washington, bringing together American and Qatari leaders from the private sectors and governments to celebrate the relationship. We will continue to provide input and encourage substantive discourse on the issues which impact businesses,” Lutes said.