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Qatar Airways alone provided $92bn boost to US economy

Qatar Airways alone provided $92bn boost to US economy

DOHA: Some 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, H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, yesterday in Washington DC. The Minister, speaking during a business lunch organised by the US-Qatar Business Council on the sidelines of the ‘US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue’, noted that Qatar has been increasing its investments in the US over the years, creating thousands of jobs across America. These include partnerships with numerous American companies, such as ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and Raytheon among others.
Sheikh Ahmed highlighted that Qatar has invested $35bn in the US, and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is planning to invest an additional $10bn in the near future.
The coveted event brought together members of the US-Qatar Business Council along with prominent figures from the US and representatives of major American companies.
Addressing the participants, the Minister congratulated Ambassador Anne Paterson on her appointment as Chairman of the US-Qatar Business Council.
Sheikh Ahmed expressed hope that the council will motivate and encourage US companies and investors to tap opportunities offered by the Qatari economy, pointing out to the letter of intent signed by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce in this regard in a bid to bolster cooperation with the US-Qatar Business Council across all sectors.
He also highlighted the Ministry’s readiness to join efforts and cooperate with the US-Qatar Busines. Council and US companies to provide assistance and support to firms seeking to benefit from Qatar’s position as a business hub.
The Minister stressed that international trade and investment are a key part of the policy of economic diversification adopted by Qatar.
Qatar is the sixth trading partner with a total of $6bn worth of traded goods, noting that 16 percent of Qatar’s imports came from the US in 2017 while the trade balance registered a surplus of $5bn in favour of the US.
Over 500 joint Qatari-US firms, and around 102 fully owned US companies, are operating in Qatar, including 20 companies that operate in the field of gas and petroleum while around 40 US companies are licensed under the umbrella of the Qatar Financial Centre.
The Minister also highlighted that the US-Qatari gathering comes at a time of global economic uncertainties and challenging circumstances for Qatar, following the imposition of the illegal blockade on the country. A blockade aimed at undermining Qatar’s position as an economically-independent and sovereign state, the Minister said. He stressed that the illegal blockade has presented an opportunity for Qatar to make its economy more open to the world.
In this context, the Minister said Qatar has successfully established direct commercial routes with a number of strategic hubs around the world, diverting trade to its major trading partners.
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.