DOHA: Minister of Economy and Commerce H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani discussed a series of meetings with US officials, on the sidelines of the “Select USA” investment summit in Washington, of enhancing bilateral relations between Qatar and the United States in the field of economic, trade and investment.
The Minister, during his meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, stressed on the close historical ties between the two countries, noting that the signing of the Framework Agreement for Trade and Investment in 2004 had contributed to strengthening the cooperation between the two countries.
The Minister said that the recently organised initiatives of the US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, the US Economic Roundtable, and Qatar’s participation in the Select USA Investment Summit were important steps towards consolidating the partnership between Qatar and the United States.
The Minister met with Governor of Nebraska Pete Ricketts, Governor of Utah Gary Herbert, Senator of Idaho Kelly Anthony and Director of Commerce of Idaho Bobbi-Jo Meuleman. He also met with Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson.
Discussions dealt with means of boosting bilateral relations in the economic and trade fields, as well as highlighting the opportunities for increasing trade exchange in light of the potential and capabilities of the two countries’ economies.
They also discussed mechanisms to support joint investments and stimulate the private sector to establish innovative investment projects in key sectors that would serve the economic orientations of Qatar and the United States.
The Minister reviewed the developments of the Qatari economy, the investment opportunities offered by the State in all fields, the initiatives launched to support the private sector, and its role in enhancing its contribution to the overall economic development and attracting foreign direct investment.
The Minister also highlighted the latest measures taken by Qatar to encourage and attract investments, including the draft law of the non-Qatari capital regulation in economic activity, which opens the way for foreign investors to own 100 per cent ownership in all sectors, as well as support for investors’ entry into the Qatari market.
Qatar and the United States have close economic and trade relations which reflected positively on the volume of trade exchange between the two countries, which in 2017 amounted to approximately QR21bn. The United States is the first trading partner in terms of imports to Qatar by 16.3 percent of Qatar’s total imports.
The number of US companies operating in Qatar is more than 650, of which 117 are wholly owned by US citizens, 20 are oil and gas companies and more than 30 are licensed under the Qatar Financial Center. The SelectUSA Investment Summit is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. This signature event provides an unparalleled opportunity to bring together companies from all over the world, economic development organizations from every corner of the nation, and other parties working to facilitate business investment in the United States. Featuring senior government officials, C-Suite business executives, and other thought leaders, each summit focuses on a timely theme related to the US investment environment, industry trends, and new opportunities.
More than 3,200 people are expected to participate in the SelectUSA investment summit, representing 64 international markets and 51 US states and territories, this year, with the participation of the US Secretaries of Commerce, Treasury and Labor as well as a number of US state governors and the US Chamber of Commerce.