His Excellency Mr. Sultan bin Rashid Al-Khater, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, led the Economic and Commercial Cooperation Session organized on the sidelines of the fifth U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, held in Doha.
The session witnessed the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Qatar Investment Authority, the Investment Promotion Agency Qatar, and the U.S.-Qatar Business Council.
In his speech, H.E. Mr. Al-Khater praised the strong economic ties between Qatar and the U.S., which have contributed to the advancements made in both countries despite global challenges.
His Excellency also affirmed that Qatar strives to diversify its economy, and gradually lessen its dependence on the hydrocarbon sector, to build a knowledge-based economy in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.
His Excellency mentioned the many reforms introduced to create an attractive business environment for foreign companies working in Qatar including legislation to regulate the investment of non-Qatari capital in economic activity, which allows up to 100% foreign ownership across various sectors. He also cited the launch of the Single Window System and the establishment of an Investment Promotion Agency to streamline procedures for investors and provide them with the necessary support.
H.E. Mr. Al-Khater pointed to World Bank projections that the Qatari economy will grow by 3.4% this year, while its strength has similarly been acknowledged by international rating agencies, indicating a positive outlook for foreign investment. He also mentioned that 90% of Qatar’s GDP currently comes from international trade across all sectors, yet the country continues to reform and improve its trade policies and adopt new ones to enhance its free trade system and economic openness concept.
Highlighting the economic role of Qatari women, H.E. Mr. Al-Khater stressed the fact that many of the country’s economic achievements would not have been possible without their contributions. He stated that Qatar is proud to have the highest female economic participation rate in the Arab world today, with many Qatari women occupying leading roles in both the private and public sectors.
He concluded by stressing Qatar’s determination to build its manufacturing, and research and development capabilities, in addition to a clean and renewable energy sector. He advises U.S. companies to benefit from current projects and the financial and legal incentives provided by the different government programs across these sectors.
H.E. Mr. Al-Khater expressed his hope of strengthening cooperation with stakeholders in the U.S. to adopt the best international practices related to investment promotion and direct it to priority sectors.
The Economic and Commercial Cooperation Session included several panel discussions. The panel focused on Qatari investment in the U.S., the available investment opportunities in Qatar, the strengthening of economic and commercial ties between the two countries, and the economic participation of women.
H.E. the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry also participated in the Private Sector Event organized by The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the U.S.-Qatar Business Council, Qatar Chamber, and U.S. Chamber, on the sidelines of the Strategic Dialogue.
During his participation, H.E. Mr. Al-Khater emphasized that U.S.-Qatari economic ties grew substantially since the conclusion of the TIFA agreement in 2004, and bilateral trade has reached $9.46 billion in 2022, making Qatar the ninth largest U.S. trade partner.
He pointed out that Qatari investments in the U.S. are worth $69 billion, while U.S. companies contribute significantly to Qatar’s development, noting that more than 856 U.S. companies currently operate in Qatar.
He emphasized that the Strategic Dialogue is an opportunity for both countries to strengthen bilateral ties and discuss the mechanisms of cooperation, despite the current global headwinds.
Lastly, H.E. commended the participation of the representatives in the session from the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar Development Bank and Qatar Chamber, and Qatari Businessmen Association.
Mohammed Barakat, Managing Director and Treasurer of the Board of Directors also stated : “The US and Qatar already share robust trade and investment that continues to strengthen year to year. Through additional discussions like this private sector event today, the commercial relationship between the two countries will continue to expand and reach new heights.”
“The close strategic relationship between the U.S. and Qatar is on display this week as officials from both governments meet for the fifth annual U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce commends the U.S. and Qatari governments for continuing the dialogue for a fifth year and using this platform to ensure consistent and sustained engagement,” Liz Clark, Senior Manager for Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said. “We were pleased to host a discussion with private sector and government representatives on the sidelines of the dialogue to discuss the fundamental priorities of trade and investment, continuing to advance an important avenue for business leaders to discuss ways to grow economic ties and help inform the economic discussions.”
“Today’s private sector panel continues to show the importance of private and public sector collaboration. The American business community is a key stakeholder in the shared US-Qatar economic success. We at AmCham Qatar are proud to represent US industry and innovation in Qatar, and we commend and congratulate the US and Qatari governments on a successful 5th strategic dialogue.” Todd Creeger, Chairman of AmCham Qatar.