American companies have been achieving “great success” in Qatar, and are continuing to seek growth and business opportunities in the LNG-rich Gulf state, an official of the US Chamber of Commerce has said.
According to Khush Choksy, the chamber’s senior vice president for Middle East and Turkey Affairs, tech giant, Microsoft, and other leading firms, such as Inventus Power and CDM Smith are among several US firms that have a strong presence in Qatar.
Choksy said Microsoft and CDM Smith recently joined the US Chamber of Commerce’s US-Qatar Business Programme, which is chaired by ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobile. “Microsoft is playing a big role in Qatar, particularly at the free zones,” Choksy told Gulf Times in an interview via Zoom.
Vice president of Middle East Affairs Steve Lutes also said the participation of these companies in Qatar’s major projects underscores the direction of US economic relations, as well as how Qatar wants to position itself not only as a key digital hub both in the region and beyond.
“One of the important things that we’ve been talking about to both governments is that it’s really imperative that they have the policy and the regulatory environment aligned…so, I think Qatar is going towards the right direction and that’s why you see the likes of Microsoft stepping up to the plate, and others whether it’s in Fintech, health, or IT; there’s such a dynamic carryover effect across a lot of different sectors.
“The same is true with CDM Smith; so, whether it’s in water or sustainability and all these different areas…I think you’re just seeing more and more companies come to Qatar for the first time or significantly deepen or expand what opportunities are there.” Lutes pointed out.
He said coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ‘new normal’ would “inevitably” drive growth in different sectors, such as food security, tech, e-learning, and Fintech, among others. “I think a lot of that is being accelerated by people’s living and working experience during the pandemic,” Lutes said.
According to Choksy, the US Chamber has been in talks with Qatar on mass screenings prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, citing Pfizer and other companies in the health sector that are looking into major international events, such as the FIFA World Cup that Qatar would be hosting in 2022.
“Post Covid-19, these mass screenings are something that would be of mutual benefit to Qatari business partners, the government, and to American companies; they can do these types of mass screenings,” he said.
Choksy also stressed that US companies specialising in tech and innovation would also play a significant role in providing thousands of fans for the 2022 FIFA World Cup with an exciting and immersive experience during the games.