Stronger Qatar-US ties

 05 Feb 2018 - 10:30

The Peninsula

The recently concluded Qatar-US Strategic dialogue has taken the bilateral relations between the two countries to the new level. The success of the high-level event, held in Washington last week, was a shining example strengthening relations between the countries.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Economy and Commerce H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani said Qatar has been working on increasing its investments in the US for many years, with those investments helping create millions of jobs. Some of those investments involved partnerships with a number of American companies such as Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips, and Raytheon. US is Qatar’s sixth largest trading partner with a trade volume of $6bn.

The Minister said that international trade and investment represent a main component of Qatar’s economic diversification policy. The US was Qatar’s biggest source of imports in 2017, representing 16 percent of the country’s total imports. Trade balance was $5bn in favour of US, he said. 

The number of American companies operating in Qatar with Qatari partners stands at 505 while the number of companies that were owned 100 percent by Americans and operating in Qatar is around 102. 

Around 20 companies are working in the field of oil and gas, with 40 companies licensed by Qatar Financial Center. 

There are more than 5,000 American citizens that were currently working in the State of Qatar’s private sector.

Around one million American jobs depend on business with Qatar, and Qatar Airways, the country’s fast growing national carrier, alone provided a $92bn boost to the US economy through the purchase of 332 American aircraft (Boeing), a deal which supports more than 5,27,000 jobs in the US, noted the Minister of Economy and Commerce while speaking during a business lunch organised by the US-Qatar Business Council on the sidelines of the ‘US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue’.

Qatar has invested $35bn in the US, and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is planning to invest an additional $10bn in the near future. Qatar’s foreign trade has also shown remarkable growth in 2017, the Minister said, adding that the total foreign trade volume has increased by 16 percent in 2017 to reached $103.

In 2017, Qatar’s GDP increased to $220bn compared with $218bn in 2016, the Minister said, noting that the country’s annual real GDP growth rate at constant price reached 2 percent in 2017. 

As an active trade partner, Qatar has played a crucial role in increasing job and business opportunities in the United States, which is the world largest economy. There is no doubt the bilateral relation between the two countries will strengthen further.