Minister of Commerce and Industry H.E. Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari yesterday reiterated Qatar’s commitment to its economic and strategic partnership with the US.
Chairing a round-table held on the sidelines of the second ‘Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue’, the Minister said Qatar and the US are strong business partners. The close and mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries stretches back decades, he noted.
In his opening speech, Al Kuwari said the session was designed to drive forward the shared Qatari-US economic agenda by facilitating trade and investment opportunities, and promoting bilateral ties and partnerships. He said both Qatar and the US are constantly seeking to expand bilateral trade and investment, noting that the signing of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in 2004 marked the first milestone in the journey to strengthen bilateral ties.
The Minister also expressed his hope that the latest round of discussions in the context of the second Qatar- US Strategic Dialogue would contribute to bolstering bilateral relations and lay the foundation for a bold new chapter in this ongoing partnership.
According to the Minister, the Strategic Dialogue provides an opportunity to make investment plans and build strong economic ties to enable both sides to take full advantage of the range of opportunities available for Qatari and American companies in the fields of industry, health and education in both public and private sectors.
On another note, he highlighted that Qatar’s economic performance has remained robust under the guidance of the country’s wise leadership, thus offering a stable environment for foreign investment.
The Minister also held separate meetings with several US officials on the sidelines of the second strategic dialogue and reviewed the bilateral relations.
Al Kuwari’s separate discussions with the members of the US delegation, included meetings with Manisha Singh, Acting Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment; Khush Choksy, Senior Vice-President for Middle East and Turkey Affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce; and Ambassador Anne Patterson, President of the US-Qatar Business Council. The meetings took place on the sidelines of the second Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue in Doha.
Discussions touched on the promotion of joint cooperation on the economic, commercial and industrial levels, as well as opportunities to bolster bilateral trade in light of the economic potential and resources of both countries. Discussions also focused on the latest developments in terms of bilateral trade, industrial and investment relations, and efforts to develop ties.
During the meetings, the Minister of Commerce and Industry outlined investment opportunities across all sectors, as well as the legislation adopted by the State and the initiatives launched to support the private sector and attract foreign direct investments.
He also highlighted the importance of exchanging visits between Qatari and US businessmen, and encouraging cooperation between government agencies and the private sector to serve the common interests of both countries.
Qatar and the US enjoy close trade relations that have positively reflected on the volume of bilateral trade, which amounted to approximately $6bn US dollars during the first 10 months of 2018.
The US ranks as the first source of Qatar’s imports and the country’s 5th trading partner, accounting for 6.23 percent of the Qatar’s total foreign trade.
The number of US companies operating in Qatar has risen to 682 firms, including 117 fully owned US companies and 565 joint Qatari-US firms. In addition, 55 US companies are licensed under the umbrella of the Qatar Financial Center.