21 September 2016
Projects worth $200bn are underway in Qatar as the country is working on improving its infrastructure, HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani has said.
These projects, he said "represented important opportunities that will encourage foreign investment and enhance partnerships".
Sheikh Ahmed was addressing a luncheon meeting hosted jointly by the Qatar Embassy in Washington DC, the US-Qatar Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce.
He said Qatar was transforming itself into a knowledge-based economy by 2030 with the lead role being played by the private sector. Over the past few years, Qatar has been pursuing a "flexible and multi-faceted" economic strategy derived from the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Sheikh Ahmed's presentation focused on Qatar's strategy for growth through diversifying the economy and increasing foreign investment.
He described Qatar's political stability, its many opportunities for investment and business, and warmly welcomed the companies present to explore those opportunities soon.
"The strong, friendly and economic partnership between Qatar and the United States has achieved remarkable economic growth and increased trade volume. The total trade volume between our two countries reached $4.5bn in 2015," said Sheikh Ahmed. "Qatar's business environment is continually being advanced to encourage more foreign direct investment and welcome an ever-growing number of international business partners."
Sheikh Ahmed highlighted Qatar's investment in infrastructure, in particular the Hamad International Airport, the New Doha Port, and a new highway system.
He remarked that this advanced infrastructure, including the economic zones managed by Manateq, would encourage the establishment of new businesses in Qatar.
The minister highlighted the importance of the ties of friendship existing between Qatar and the US, looking forward to further advancement and promotion of economic, commercial and investment cooperation between the two countries.
He said Qatar's real GDP grew 6% annually between 2010 and 2015 (base year 2013) to reach $217bn in 2015.
The contribution of non-oil sector to GDP rose from 42% in 2010 to about 50% over the past year, and the non-oil sector played a pivotal role in the economic growth in Qatar between 2011 and 2015, he said, pointing out that the sector contributed about 50% of real GDP in the past year.
He praised the outstanding performance of the construction,financial, trade and services sectors, noting that the contribution of the private sector to GDP is estimated at about 30%.
Tim Lenderking, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, commended Qatar's welcoming environment towards US investment in key sectors of development, further enhancing the US-Qatar bilateral relationship.
Patrick Theros, president of the US-Qatar Business Council said, "The US-Qatar Business Council works to strengthen the US-Qatar bilateral relationship and Sheikh Ahmed's visit has fortified this vital bond.
"Our members, and those in attendance learned much from Sheikh Ahmed's insight, and we know that the topics discussed during the luncheon will help grow Qatar's already thriving economy."
The event brought together representatives from America's most influential businesses in the US-Qatar bilateral relationship including the luncheon's host ConocoPhillips.
Khush Choksy, senior vice president (Middle East and Turkey Affairs) at the US Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the guests.
© Gulf Times 2016