Mohamed Barakat, Managing Director of US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC) believes that Qatar’s resilience against the pandemic and consequent slowdown coupled with its Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) friendly norms and laws has increased the US investor confidence in the country.
Mr. Barakat observed that following the third Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue held in Washington, DC, last month, “many US companies had expressed interest in doing business in Qatar and to export their products and services to the Qatari market.”
Stressing on the Qatari economy’s resilient nature, the USQBC Managing Director remarked that the county was able to withstand two major headwinds – the 2017 blockade and the COVID-19 pandemic.
While speaking to a regional news portal, Mr. Barakat stated that “Qatar’s achievements and resiliency amidst these two challenges boost investor confidence, which is an important indicator of the strength of a country’s economy. Qatar continues to invest within the country and abroad, such as in the US and in Europe; when US investors look at that (investing both locally and abroad) they know that the country has a strong economy.”
Qatar has continued to pour investments across different sectors, such as construction and infrastructure, hospitality, sports, health, and education, among others. This country has the ability and strength to boost its economy. To be part of a moving and powerful economy is usually what investors are looking for,” Mr. Barakat added.
The USQBC official highlighted Qatar’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Law and the foreign ownership law along with reforms in the country’s labor law and lauded the government’s decision to pass new laws aimed at attracting FDI inflows to the nation.
Mr. Barakat remarked that “These laws play a significant role in encouraging more American businesses to come in; they can import their skilled labor or white-collar employees or senior management. And knowing that the Qatari market will provide its own skilled labor with the ease of transition from one project to another will increase investor appetite and will raise the score for ease of doing business in Qatar.”
The official mentioned that the USQBC has witnessed an “increased interest” among US small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the Qatari market based on inquiries and from past and current events organized by the council.
“We’ve seen an uptick in interest from American businesses, such as food suppliers, small manufacturing companies, technology and software firms, companies specializing in security products, considering that the 2022 FIFA World Cup is barely two years away.
“Conversely, we’ve also seen an increase in interest among Qatari SMEs; they are asking our help for either locating in the US or by partnering with an American company,” Mr. Barakat replied.