Qatar’s economy, which has been resilient to major challenges like the 2017 economic blockade and Covid-19 pandemic, remains as an attractive investment haven for foreign firms, official of the Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) Qatar has said.
“Qatar’s resilient economy and its steady march towards realising its national vision for the year 2030 have ensured its investment landscape remains competitive for international companies,” IPA Qatar CEO Sheikh Ali Alwaleed al-Thani said during a virtual panel discussion the agency co-hosted with the US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC) on Tuesday.
The event, titled "Qatar’s Value Proposition & Resiliency: Why Qatar Remains a Primary Investment Destination for US Companies", was hosted by USQBC managing director Mohamed Barakat in the presence of ambassador Greta Holtz, chargé d’affaires of the US embassy in Qatar, and Qatar’s commercial attaché to the US Fahad al-Dosari.
Other guest speakers at the virtual event included IPA Qatar director of strategy Aymen Adam Mohib, Silicon Valley-based Palantir Technologies general manager Josh McLaughlin, and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company vice president in Qatar Jay Bickett.
“As the country transitions into the new economy, US firms are poised to continue leveraging untapped opportunities and play a significant role in creating knowledge assets and advancing technologies across domains.
At IPA Qatar, we are excited to help write the next chapter in the economic journey of Qatar and the United States, as longstanding allies and partners,” continued Sheikh Ali, who, together with the guest speakers, explored the investment landscape in Qatar and the wide range of promising opportunities emerging across its economic sectors.
According to Holtz, US investments in the oil and gas sector several decades ago “laid the foundation for what continues to be a thriving partnership.”
“More recently, US partnerships and ongoing investments in the ICT sector contribute to the Qatar National Vision 2030 goals, marking the next generation of partnership. Looking forward, and consistent with Vision 2030, US businesses are eager to identify more areas for partnership via the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) law which was signed by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on May 31st,” Holtz pointed out.
Al-Dosari highlighted the advantages international investors can leverage in Qatar, stating that there are a range of “exceptional incentives” available to US firms in the Qatari market.
“More than that, though, Qatar offers US investors a true partner, committed to building and maintaining an optimal business environment, with whom US companies can be confident they will have every opportunity to succeed,” al-Dosari said.
Barakat, who underscored the US investors’ positive sentiment in Qatar, stressed that American investors’ interest in Qatar “has never been stronger.”
“Through continuous economic and regulatory reforms, investors’ growth prospects are further enhanced. Given IPA Qatar’s unique position at the centre of Qatar’s investment ecosystem, we have a positive outlook on the future of US investments in the country,” Barakat emphasised.
In a statement, USQBC stated that the US and Qatar’s commercial relationship “has been increasingly robust and thriving” over the past five years, with Qatar importing “over $23bn” worth of goods from the US.
Today, the total economic value of the partnership between the two countries “exceeds $200bn,” and Qatar stands as one of the few countries in which the US runs a trade surplus, USQBC said.
In the FDI arena, the US has over 850 companies operating in Qatar in a wide variety of industries, with investments totaling “over $110.6bn,” making the US “the country’s largest foreign direct investor,” it added.