US companies stand to gain from the massive infrastructure projects Qatar has built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will offer a wide range of investment opportunities once the tournament concludes in December, an official of the US Chamber of Commerce has said.
“Qatar-US relations from 2023 onwards will be very strong,” US Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice-President for Middle East and International Development Khush Choksy told Gulf Times.
Choksy and US Chamber of Commerce Senior Manager, Middle East Affairs Liz Clark previously held a series of meetings in Doha, particularly with HE the Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari and HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Thani.
The US Chamber also held meetings with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA), Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), and Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), among others, Choksy said.
“Qatar’s investments in building physical and regulatory infrastructure and the logistics to supporting such a large event and managing the influx of people provide a huge opportunity for Qatar to capitalise on all of this and plan for the future,” Choksy explained.
Not only will this enhance the sports health industry but it will also open investment opportunities in Qatar’s finance industry, as well as the country’s digital sector, which, according to Choksy, “is a huge area for growth that could serve the region.”
He said: “Qatar is able to use its capital to attract companies, provide seed financing for ventures, the relocation of back offices and service facilities, and develop the manufacturing sector, as well.
“This is part of Qatar’s strategy to diversify away from the oil and gas industry by enhancing other sectors, such as the digital economy, manufacturing, and logistics, which complements the country’s national strategy for 2030.”
He said: “Post-FIFA, Qatar really has an opportunity. During our meetings here, we encouraged Qatar authorities to use the spotlight during the World Cup to showcase these opportunities.
Choksy said the chamber is planning to bring a group of American companies here during the US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, which is expected to be hosted by Qatar in the first quarter of next year.
“We hope that US companies, specifically our member companies, are interested, and I hope that this materialises into a very good opportunity for American businesses,” Choksy noted.
On Qatari investments in the US, Choksy added: “Inward investment is part of the US Chamber’s mandate, as well as attracting investment into the US. Qatar Investment Authority is looking at new technologies and they’ve also made infrastructure investments in real estate, as well as a broad array of investments in different American states.”
In the energy sector, Choksy said US companies “are very pleased” with the North Field expansion, which he described as “a huge opportunity for continued expansion and growth of Qatar-US ties.”
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