High-level public and private sector officials said they see big opportunities for Qatari investors in the U.S. market at an economic forum hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce Qatar (AmCham Qatar) in Doha on Wednesday.
Opened by Her Excellency Dana Shell Smith, the U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, and Mr. Remy Rowhani, Director General of Qatar Chamber, AmCham Qatar’s Doing Business in the USA forum gathered A-list experts and business leaders in Qatar to discuss opportunities for Qatari investors in strategic sectors of the robust U.S. economy: investment banking, commercial real estate, entertainment and transportation. It also covered other important areas of the American business environment, providing expert insights into the immigration, tax and legal systems.
Opening the Doing Business in the USA Forum, Her Excellency the Ambassador of the United States of America in Qatar, Dana Shell Smith, said “The U.S. - Qatar relationship is strong on many levels. Our business and cultural relationship is the foundation that underpins so much of what we do. We share around $7 billion in bilateral trade." concluded Smith.
Mr. Rowhani opened by saying, “I would like to start by thanking the U.S. Embassy and the American Chamber for such a great initiative.” Detailing Qatar Chamber’s role as a gateway to helping all companies achieve their ambitions, he continued: “We are open for business and we are open for partnerships, for U.S. companies in particular, to help us deliver the great goals of our National Vision.”
AmCham Qatar Chairman Robert Hager, who led the forum, said there has been a great deal of activity following U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker’s visit to Doha last year. "While this week celebrates the diverse and multi-faceted nature of our partnership, today we want to talk business.” He said. “Our two countries, I believe, share similar attitudes on such crucial issues as growth, vision, innovation and independence.”
Citing a figure from a recent visit to the U.S. by His Excellency Ali Sherif Al Emadi, Qatar’s Minister of Finance, several speakers from the forum estimated that Qatar’s investments in the United States will exceed a staggering $35 billion over the next five years.
Hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel Doha, the half-day forum was a feature event of the Discover America – USA Week Qatar. Special guests included: The speakers included Her Excellency Dana Shell Smith, the U.S. Ambassador to Qatar; Mr. Robert A. Hager, Chairman, AmCham Qatar; Mr. Rodney E. Slater, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation; Mr. Remy Rowhani, Director General of Qatar Chamber and Secretary General of ICC; Mr. Ryan Elzein, Foreign Service Commercial, U.S. Embassy in Qatar; Mr. Zubaid Ahmad, Vice Chairman and Global Head of Private Sector, Citi; Ms. Susan B. Bastress, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs; Mr. Scott Cooper, Partner, Fragomen Worldwide; and Mr. Bob Hercules, Independent Filmmaker and Co-Owner of Media Process Group.
Mr. Ahmad of Citi provided a detailed economic overview of the U.S. economy, saying that many sovereign wealth funds and other investors in the Middle East and Asia are looking to the U.S. economy, which he and others at the forum agreed was on the cusp of renewed economic growth and expansion. When asked specifically about the impact of lower energy prices, he anticipated that investors in the Qatar and the GCC, who traditionally saw international energy assets as competition, may in fact have new opportunities to invest in them.
Discover America – USA Week Qatar a week-long economic, culinary, and cultural showcase of the U.S. in Qatar, that started on President’s Day 2015 (February 16). AmCham Qatar aims to make the USA Week Qatar an annual tradition, celebrating the multifaceted partnership and friendship between the two nations. For further information, please visit www.amchamqatar.orgor follow the conversation on social media channels #USAWeekQatar.
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