USQBC Hosts Business Luncheon in Chicago, IL

JUNE 18, 2019 — CHICAGO, IL:The US-Qatar Business Council, in partnership with the Chicago Regional Growth Corporation and the Illinois District Export Council, hosted a business luncheon featuring His Excellency Nasser Allenqawi, Consul General of the State of Qatar in New York. The luncheon took place in downtown Chicago, and welcomed over 35 executives and export managers from the Chicago area. 


Mohammed Barakat, Managing Director of the US-Qatar Business Council opened the luncheon, thanking guests for their participation. Tom Hulseman, Chair of the Illinois District Export Council and Executive Director of the Chicago Regional Growth Corporation, delivered introductory remarks. 


"The Chicago Regional Growth Corporation is the regional economic development organization that drives collaboration among public and private partners in order to generate inclusive growth and prosperity across northeastern Illinois," said Mr. Hulseman. "Our region is one of the world’s top ten most competitive economies and repeatedly ranks high in global competitiveness and the pace of foreign investment," he added. 


His Excellency Allenqawi welcomed guests, thanking them for their participation. "In recent years, we have focused on opening our economy to international companies and investors. We have focused on creating world-class infrastructure, both in country, and via trade routes to  regional markets, to encourage the growth of the private sector. Despite being a world leader in LNG production and capacity, we have not relied solely on hydrocarbon revenue. Rather, we have invested in our people and our country for the future," said His Excellency. 


Mr. Barakat delivered a presentation covering Qatar's business climate, growth potential, and opportunities for American companies. He highlighted Qatar's advanced infrastructure, economic resiliency, and new regulations that make investing and establishing  easier for American companies. 


"Despite generating great revenue from the export of Liquified Natural Gas, the State of Qatar has focused on reinvesting that revenue on its own economy, with a focus on infrastructure and the private sector," said Mr. Barakat. "Qatar now allows 100% foreign ownership, offers competitive incentives for foreign companies, and is strategically located for companies seeking to do work regionally," he added. 


Mr. Barakat described Qatar's goals going forward, especially as it pertains to cultivating private sector growth and welcoming American products and companies. He also discussed the impact of the current blockade, and how against the odds, Qatar has experienced record growth and will continue to do so in the coming years. 


"There has never been a better time to do business in Qatar, with strong support from both the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and the rapidly growing private sector, American companies have a plethora of opportunities to get involved," said Mr. Barakat. "We thank you for your participation today and look forward to supporting you as you seek investment and trade opportunities in the Qatari market," he added, closing the luncheon. 


This luncheon took place alongside several engagements during His Excellency Allenqawi's visit to Chicago, Illinois, his first visit as Consul General of the State of Qatar.