The Minister of Economy and Commerce, H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassem bin Mohammed Al Thani, said yesterday in Washington that Qatar is keen to further bolster bilateral ties with the US across all fields, particularly on the economic and investment levels.
The Minister highlighted that $24bn worth of goods were traded over the last five years, noting that 84 percent of the trade balance is in favor of the US, the equivalent of $20bn while 16.3 percent of Qatar’s imports came from the US in 2017.
Sheikh Ahmed participated in the reception organized by the US-Qatar Business Council on the sidelines of the ‘SelectUSA Investment Summit’ which is taking place in Washington. The ceremony was attended by a number of senior officials and businessmen from both countries and representatives of civil society in the US.
The SelectUSA Investment Summit is a leading event aimed at promoting foreign direct investments in the US with the participation of senior government officials, CEOs, private sector representatives, and entrepreneurs.
He stressed that international trade and investment form a key part of Qatar’s future growth and diversification, adding that the US is one of Qatar’s most valued and largest global partners.
Meanwhile, more than 650 American companies are established in Qatar, including 117 companies 100 percent owned by US citizens, he said, adding that another 30 US companies operate under the Qatar Financial Centre. According to Sheikh Ahmed, Qatar has been increasing its investments in the US for many years, creating thousands of jobs across America. These include partnerships with numerous American companies, such as ExxonMobil, Boeing, ConocoPhillips and Raytheon, the Minister noted. In addition, 15,000 American citizens live in Qatar, where 5,000 highly skilled individuals are currently working in the private sector.
Touching on Qatari investments in the US, the Minister said Qatar Airways alone provided a $92bn boost to the US economy through the purchase of 332 American aircraft, a deal that supports more than 527,000 jobs.
He added that $146bn worth of exports and orders to Qatar have generated one million American jobs that depend on doing business with Qatar.
Qatar Investment Authority has also pledged to invest $45bn for the period from 2015 to 2020. Of that, $10bn will be channeled into the infrastructure sector, the Minister said, noting that these investments represent 23 percent of Qatar’s GDP. In the oil and gas sector, Qatar Petroleum has also invested $10bn in an LNG plant in Texas, which he said, will contribute to generating 45,000 jobs.
Highlighting investments by the private sector, the Minister of Economy and Commerce said private companies have heavily invested in the US economy, with more than $5bn in the fields of technology, hospitality, real estate and household retail, which contributed to bolstering the US economy.
The Minister also pointed out that Qatar spent $200m on medical and healthcare for its citizens in 2017, while more 1,200 Qatari students are studying at universities in the US.