US supports Qatar bid to become Middle East manufacturing hub

The US is supporting Qatar’s drive to transform itself as a manufacturing hub in the Middle East region, according to US embassy charge d’affaires William Grant, who spoke at the Qatar-US Business Forum held yesterday at Qatar Chamber. He said the event was part of the embassy’s annual ‘Discover America’ initiative, which highlights American products, culture, opportunities to do business, and other connections between the US and Qatar.

Grant also emphasised the potential business opportunities between American and Qatari investors, and stressed the availability of direct flights from Hamad International Airport to 10 major cities in the US. He said more than 40,000 Qataris travelled to the US in 2017. “In addition to investing in the US, we at the embassy and the US government are supporting Qatar’s efforts to developing more manufacturing here in Qatar to serve as a regional hub for the Middle East involving the use of American technology.We’re interested in the growth of this possibility,” he said.

Qatar and US

Al-Kuwari and Grant: Excellent relations between Qatar and US

On the role of governments, Grant said, “The governments of the US and Qatar have excellent relationship right now. We’re having good co-operation on a range of issues that are important to the citizens of both our countries – military and defence co-operation, terrorist finance, diplomacy issues, and a range of matters that affect local businesses. “To give you an example, last week, a member of the US Cabinet, the Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin was here in Doha for the second time. He met several Qatari leaders, including His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, to discuss American investment, the ongoing co-operation between our two countries to stop the financing of terrorism, and other issues affecting business in this region.”

Qatar Chamber first vice chairman Mohamed bin Towar al-Kuwari noted that trade volume between the US and Qatar “had doubled within the past few years, reaching $5.5bn last year.” He said there are 650 American companies operating in Qatar, of which, 117 are 100% US-owned and 55 are under the umbrella of the Qatar Financial Centre, while the rest are Qatari-US ventures. “The Qatari private sector has strong relations with its US counterpart and there are lots of joint investments in both sides. The Qatari private sector has direct, important investments in the technology, hospitality, and real estate sectors in the US,” al-Kuwari said. Al-Kuwari also lauded the success of Qatar’s economic roadshow held last April in Washington, Miami, Raleigh, and Charleston, which was held in conjunction with His Highness the Amir’s visit to the US.

Sources and photo-credits: Gulf Times