QATAR – US BILATERAL RELATIONSHIPS WITNESS A SURGEDoha
Doha Bank hosted a knowledge sharing session on “Qatar- US Bilateral Opportunities” at Hotel Metropolitan, New York on 10th October 2017.The event was well attended by leading Corporates who were keen to hear more about US - Qatar bilateral relationships and to explore further business opportunities with Doha Bank.

Dr. R.Seetharaman, CEO, Doha Bank gave insight on global economies. He said “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.”

Dr. R.Seetharaman highlighted on US economy and Qatar – US Bilateral relationships. He said “US economy had expanded at an annual rate of 3 percent in the second quarter of the year. U.S. economic growth will take a mild hit in the third quarter from Hurricane Harvey and Irma. The U.S. 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 U.S. interest-rate hikes ahead. Qatar’s trade with US was close to   US$ 6Bn in 2016. The US is the sixth largest trading partner of Qatar. US exports to Qatar mainly consisted of Aircraft, Vehicles, Electrical Machinery and Optical Medical Instruments. U.S. imports from Qatar mainly fuel and fertilizers. In Oct 2015 Qatar and the US have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish economic and investment dialogue. In August 2016 Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund made an $622-million purchase, a stake in the company that owns New York’s Empire State Building. In June 2017 the United States and Qatar have signed a deal for the purchase of F-15 fighter jets with an initial cost of $12bn. In August 2017 Qatar’s National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee (NAMLC) has engaged the US-based Financial Integrity Network (FIN) as its principal strategic adviser for enhancing the country’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) system. 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. Qatar- US Bilateral relationships witness a surge.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on the recent developments in Qatar. He said “Qatar will raise LNG production by 30% to 100mtpa within five to seven years after lifting a moratorium on gas development earlier this year.Qatarranked 18th in ‘the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17’ and stands second in the region. A new law for Public Private Partnership (PPP) businesses in Qatar should provide an additional level of comfort to the private sector and foreign investors. Qatar Lending growth till August 2017 was more than 6% YTD and deposit growth was more than 9% YTD in 2017. In Feb 2017, Qatar issued a new law on arbitration (the "Arbitration Law"), inspired by the UNCITRAL Model Law (the "Model Law"), an international template for law on arbitration. In terms of food security, Qatar now have many local companies that are supporting the country and it can develop these businesses further and boost its food production to provide both locally and internationally. Qatar Budget 2017 has allocated for key sectors such as health, education and infrastructure QR87.1bn (US$23.9bn) which is made up made up of nearly 44% of the total expenditure in the 2017.Transportation and infrastructure projects, which represented a main pillar of enhancing sustainable development, have been allocated QR42bn. (US$11.51bn).The accomplishment of the New Orbit Highway will facilitate the world cup infrastructure works as per schedule. 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. On the whole 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.”

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