Minister discusses economic ties with senior US officials

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani on Thursday held a series of meetings with US officials and discussed relations between Qatar and the United States in the economic, trade and investment fields.

The meetings were held on the sidelines of the 'Select USA Investment Summit' in Washington, DC, which Qatar is attending.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim is leading Qatar's delegation to the summit which opened yesterday and ends today.

During his meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim stressed the close historical ties between the two countries, noting that the signing of the Framework Agreement for Trade and Investment in 2004 had contributed to strengthening bilateral co-operation.

The Minister of Economy and Commerce said the recently organised initiatives of the US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, the US Economic Roundtable and Qatar's participation in the Select USA summit were important steps towards consolidating the partnership between the two countries.

He also met Governors Pete Ricketts of Nebraska and Gary Herbert of Utah, Idaho Senator Kelly Anthony and Director of Commerce of Idaho Bobbi-Jo Meuleman.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim also met Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson.

Discussions during the meetings dealt with means of boosting bilateral relations between Qatar and the United States in the economic and trade fields, as well as highlighting the opportunities for increasing trade exchanges.

They also discussed mechanisms to support joint investments and stimulate the private sector to establish innovative investment projects in key sectors that would serve the economic interests of Qatar and the US.

The Minister reviewed the developments of the Qatari economy, the investment opportunities offered by the State in all fields, the initiatives launched to support the private sector, and its role in enhancing its contribution to the overall economic development and attracting foreign direct investment.

He also highlighted the latest measures taken by the State to encourage and attract investments, including a draft law on non-Qatari capital in the economic activity, which opens the way for foreign investors to own 100% ownership in all sectors, as well as support for investors' entry into the Qatari market.

Qatar's delegation to the Select USA Investment Summit which opened yesterday and ends today is headed by Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim.

The summit is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment in the United States.

The signature event provides an unparalleled opportunity to bring together companies from all over the world, economic development organisations from every corner of the US and other parties working to facilitate business investment in the United States.

Featuring senior government officials, C-Suite business executives, and other thought leaders, each summit focuses on a timely theme related to the US

investment environment, industry trends, and new opportunities.

More than 3,200 people are expected to participate in the summit, representing 64 international markets and 51 US states and territories, this year, with the participation of the US Secretaries of Commerce, Treasury and Labor as well as a number of US state governors and the US Chamber of Commerce.

Qatar and the United States have close economic and trade relations which reflected positively on the volume of trade exchange between the two countries, which in 2017 touched approximately QR21bn.

The United States accounts for 16.3% of Qatar's imports.

The number of US companies operating in Qatar is more than 650, of which 117 are wholly owned by US citizens, 20 are oil and gas companies and more than 30 are licensed under the Qatar Financial Centre.


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