● H.E. Minister of Commerce and Industry participates in a round table organized by the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-Qatar Business Council on the sidelines of the SelectUSA Investment Summit.
● H.E. Minister of Commerce and Industry holds bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the SelectUSA 2019 Investment Summit.
● Qatar’s foreign trade has shown remarkable growth in 2018 compared to 2017, with total foreign trade increasing by 19% to reach $116 billion.
● The World Bank expects the Qatari economy to grow at 2.7% in 2019 and 3% in 2020.
● Qatar’s total exports increased by 25 % to reach $84 billion in 2018.
H.E. Mr. Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry, chaired Qatar’s delegation to the SelectUSA 2019 Investment Summit, which took place in Washington on June 10-12.
On the sidelines of the Investment Summit, H.E. Mr. Al-Kuwari participated in a round table organized by the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-Qatar Business Council. The round table was attended by senior officials and businessmen from Qatar and US.
Speaking at the event, H.E. Mr. Al Kuwari said international trade and investment form a key part of Qatar’s future growth and diversification, noting that the US is one of Qatar’s strategic and largest global partners.
Over the last five years, Qatari-US bilateral reached $26.7 billion, H.E. said, adding that 84.5% of the trade balance, the equivalent of $22.6 billion, is in favor of the US.
H.E. noted that the US is also Qatar’s first destination for imports, accounting for 19.43% of Qatar’s imports in 2018.
H.E. added that over 753 American companies are currently operating in Qatar, including 118 companies that are fully owned by US citizens, while 63 firms are operating under the umbrella of the Qatar Financial Centre.
Over 15,000 American citizens are also living in Qatar including 5000 high skilled individuals that are currently employed by the private sector, H.E. said.
Touching on Qatar’s economic environment, H.E. argued that Qatar is emerging stronger and more independent than ever before with an economy that is now more accessible to the world.
Qatar has successfully established direct commercial routes with a number of strategic hubs and major economies around the world, H.E. said, noting that trade has been diverted to major trading partners.
H.E. explained that Qatar’s solid economic growth also played a key role in the development of the country’s infrastructure and the establishment of a very successful air fleet, operated by Qatar Airways, one of the world’s leading 5-star airlines.
In parallel, Qatar utilized its available high standard facilities and hi-tech logistics to mobilize regional agreements with Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Azerbaijan and central Asia, H.E. added, noting that Qatar is expanding its trade activities through a sea fleet that connects the country with its major trading partners in the world to target a market of 400 million people in its first stage.
As a result, the Qatari economy continued its positive performance during the past couple of years, H.E said, driven by the wise policies adopted by the State to stimulate all sectors of the economy and achieve increased productivity, which reflected positively on economic growth.
In 2018, Qatar’s GDP grew to $225 billion, H.E. said, noting that the annual real GDP growth rate at constant price reached 1.4 % in 2018, a better than expected rate.
Quoting the World Bank, H.E. said the Qatari economy is expected to grow at 2.7% in 2019 and 3% in 2020 partly driven by Qatar’s success in attracting foreign direct investments.
H.E. added that Qatar’s foreign trade has also shown remarkable growth in 2018 with total foreign trade increasing by 19% in 2018 to reach $116 billion.
Qatar’s total exports also increased by 25 % to reach $84 billion in 2018, resulting in a 40% increase in the trade surplus which reached $53 billion in 2018, H.E. said.
H.E. concluded his remarks by noting that these positive indicators reflect Qatar’s economic competitiveness and position the country as a highly attractive destination for US investments.
H.E. invited investors to tap the myriad of opportunities that Qatar offers to establish investment projects in the country.
On the sidelines of the summit, H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry, held separate meetings with H.E. Mr. Wilbur Ross, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, H.E. Mr. Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of US Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Daniel Mullaney, Assistant US Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East, Mr. Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland, H.E. Ambassador Anne Patterson, President of the Qatar-US Business Council, Mr. Mike DeWine, Governor of Ohio, Mr. Larry Kudlow, Director of the United States National Economic Council (NEC), and H.E. Mr. Matt Bevin, Governor of Kentucky.
Discussions touched on the promotion of bilateral relations and the development of joint cooperation, particularly in the fields of trade, investment and industry in light of the friendly ties and strategic interests that Qatar and US share.
The meetings focused on the latest developments that the Qatari economy witnessed over the past years and investment opportunities across various sectors in addition to the incentives that Qatar is offering across various sectors. These include legislation such as the law regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital in economic activity and initiatives to support the private sector, attract Foreign Direct Investment and encourage US companies to invest Qatar.
Discussions also touched on the development of mechanisms aimed at supporting joint investments and encouraging the private sector to establish innovative investment projects in key sectors that would serve the economic aspirations of both countries.
Through its participation in the summit, Qatar seeks to strengthen its bilateral relations with the US and highlight its friendly investment environment and the opportunities offered by the State across various promising sectors. Qatar highlighted key legislations adopted by the state such as the law regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital in economic activity and the various initiatives aimed at supporting the private sector in addition to the incentives, advantages and services offered to investors to attract further Foreign Direct Investments and bolster Qatar’s competitiveness on the regional and global levels.
The SelectUSA Summit is the leading event promoting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the United States bringing together senior government officials, business executives, private sector representatives and policy makers. Each year, the summit focuses on a specific theme relating to the US investment environment, overall industry trends and new opportunities.
The current edition of the summit touched on issues relating to FDIs, economic development and the advantages of investing in priority sectors, particularly advanced industries, health care, biotechnology, agriculture and the digital economy.
The 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit drew more than 3,000 participants from 66 international markets and 51 U.S. states and territories.
This year’s Investment Summit brought together representatives from more than 50 US states and territories as well as representatives from 43 international markets.