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Qatar-US ties witness a surge: Seetharaman

Qatar-US ties witness a surge: Seetharaman
October 20
05:17 2017

Dr. R. Seetharaman addressing Business meet in New York

NEW YORK: Doha Bank hosted a knowledge sharing session on “Qatar- US Bilateral Opportunities” at Hotel Metropolitan, New York on Oct.10. It was attended by leading corporates who were keen to hear more about US – Qatar bilateral relationship and to explore further business opportunities with Doha Bank.

Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO, Doha Bank gave insight saying, “According to IMF July 2017 Outlook, economic activity in both advanced economies and emerging and developing economies is forecast to accelerate in 2017, to 2 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, with global growth projected to be 3.5 percent. Current global growth prospects are encouraging, though the pace of growth is still weaker than desirable.”

Touching on US economy and Qatar-US Bilateral relationship, he said “US economy had expanded at an annual rate of 3 percent in the second quarter of the year. US economic growth will take a mild hit in the third quarter from Hurricane Harvey and Irma. The US economy lost 33,000 jobs in September even as the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent. Despite this Federal Reserve policymakers have recently signaled they continue to see gradual US interest-rate hikes ahead. Qatar’s trade with US was close to $ 6bn in 2016.

The US is the sixth largest trading partner of Qatar. US exports to Qatar mainly consist of aircraft, vehicles, electrical machinery and optical medical instruments. US imports from Qatar mainly fuel and fertilizers. In Oct 2015, Qatar and US signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish economic and investment dialogue. In August 2016 Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund made a $622-million purchase, a stake in the company that owns New York’s Empire State Building.

Qatar’s landmark residency plan is a welcoming social and economic reform. It will attract skilled expats to have a career in Qatar. It will also encourage investors as they would be able to launch business ventures. It will help migrants to further integrate with Qatar’s society. The landmark residency plan will enhance expatriates participation in Qatar’s economy and society in various forms and thereby contribute to sustainable growth of Qatar. Qatar has also waived entry visa requirements for citizens of 80 countries.”

Convening all these global business leaders in New York was a powerful reminder of the invaluable role that accurate information, communication and reporting plays in the business community. The presentation was inspiring and useful. It restored trust and fertile ground.

Building on the nearly $26bn invested in the US since 2015, Qatar Investment Authority has committed to investing another $10bn and expanding the portfolio to include infrastructure projects.

The business audience was able to see the opportunities that Qatar is offering. Qatar’s core value and hard work were highlighted as they lead to a peaceful and resilient society.

PRAKASH M SWAMY

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