The US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC) hosted a webinar yesterday showcasing business opportunities in the smart technology sector between Qatar and California.
Titled ‘California-Qatar Smart Technology Business Opportunities’, the event was organised in partnership with the World Trade Centre of Northern California; Consulate of the State of Qatar in Los Angeles; Office of the Commercial Attaché, Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington, DC; California Mobility Centre (CMC); Qatar Mobility Innovations Centre (QMIC); and San Diego Chamber of Commerce.
The speakers included Mansoor al-Sulaitin, Consul General of the State of Qatar in Los Angeles; Emily Desai, Deputy Director of International Affairs and Trade at the Governor of California’s Office of Business and Economic Development; Fahad al-Dosari, the State of Qatar Commercial Attaché to the US; Kevin Mather, president, World Trade Centre of Northern California (WTC-NorCal); Dr Adnan Abu-Dayya, executive director, QMIC; Mark Rawson, CEO, CMC; and Mohamed Barakat, managing director and treasurer of the board of directors, USQBC.
Moderated by Mather, the virtual event discussed the latest developments and opportunities in Qatar’s sustainable economy and smart city initiatives, which included a panel discussion featuring Abu-Dayya and Rawson, who discussed the recent MoU signed between CMC and QMIC.
Al-Sulaitin said, “Qatar has been working toward its smart cities vision for years and the country is quickly being recognised as a leader in digital transformation. Qatar hosted the second edition of Smart City Expo Doha 2022 where more than 70 world-renowned smart city experts from over 60 countries were in attendance, showcasing Qatar’s centrality and prominence in the field of smart technologies.”
Desai said, “The State of California looks forward to strengthening the already strong commercial ties with Qatar. California’s technology companies are global leaders and we see exciting opportunities for them in the domestic Qatari market, but also to use Qatar as a foothold to expand to the entire region.”
Al-Dosari said, “US companies and their technology have been critical to Qatar’s efforts to drive sustainable economic diversification and improve the quality of life for its residents. Qatar and the US share a long history of commercial partnership and US firms will find many opportunities for export and investment in the Qatari economy, especially within smart city and mobility technologies.”
The MoU signed in March 2022 between CMC and QMIC allows both entities to collaborate on initiatives and activities for promoting the development and commercialisation of advanced mobility technologies and services.
It also opens the door for the CMC and QMIC to explore further steps towards a definitive agreement to mutually support each other’s initiatives and to work collaboratively to meet shared goals.
Abu-Dayya said, “QMIC has been very active in developing and deploying data-centric platforms and services in Qatar since 2009 when it was founded as one of the first market-focused innovation centres in the Middle East in the areas of intelligent mobility and smart cities.
“Through our MoU with CMC, we hope to consolidate our expertise in further promoting the development and commercialisation of smart mobility technologies, solutions, and services.”
Rawson added: “The CMC aims to advance mobility technologies, strategies, and policies for the benefit of people globally. Our collaboration with QMIC is emblematic of our drive to create exceptional opportunities and technology exchange between California and the State of Qatar.”
Mather said, “California companies can succeed globally, and we look forward to more companies expanding their exports and investments in Qatar.”
Barakat added: “Qatar is already a regional hub for smart solutions and digital transformation. With the country’s investment-friendly ecosystem, including TASMU, Qatar Financial Centre, Qatar Science & Technology Park, and Qatar Free Zones, among others, the country is well positioned to help American technology companies tap Qatar's domestic market and the wider region as well.”
Related Story