USQBC & US Chamber of Commerce Host 6th US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue Evening Reception

WASHINGTON —  On March 5, 2024, the US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC) and US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) hosted a Private Sector Dinner Reception on the sidelines of the 2024 Sixth US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, which was held in Washington, D.C. on March 5 and 6. The Dinner Reception Event, sponsored by ConocoPhillips, was held at The Conrad Hotel in Washington, D.C., and was attended by private sector senior executives from leading American and Qatari companies, US and Qatari government officials, and the wider business community. The event included US and Qatar officials' remarks and a networking dinner reception. Hosts and official guest speakers remark included:
● Saleh bin Majid Al-Khulaifi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industry Affairs and Business Development at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the State of Qatar
● Daniel Banaim, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Arabian Peninsula Affairs in the Near East Bureau from the US Department of State
● Moe H. Barakat, Managing Director and Treasurer of the Board of Directors at the US Qatar Business Council (USQBC)
● Khush Choksky, Senior Vice President, Middle East Affairs and International Member Relations of the US Chamber of Commerce

Opening remarks featured important themes in business, trade, and investment between the United States and Qatar, including synergies between the US and Qatar in cooperating to attract foreign direct investment into the private sector and highlighting Qatar’s National Development Strategy key sectors such as manufacturing, logistics services, information technology, digital and financial services, food and agriculture, healthcare, amongst others. Choksky emphasized that the US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue aims to enhance the commercial and investment relationship, a commitment reflected in the increased attendance of private sector representatives. "Their growing presence is a testament to our successful efforts in strengthening our economic partnership," he remarked, highlighting the significance of the burgeoning business relations between the two nations. Barakat highlighted that throughout history, American companies have been deeply involved in significant projects within Qatar, including the foundational development of the LNG industry. These partnerships extended to numerous business and development ventures, notably contributing to successfully delivering the FIFA World Cup projects. Qatar's remarkable achievement in hosting the 2022 World Cup set a high standard of excellence, an experience we eagerly anticipate emulating in the United States for the 2026 World Cup. Over the years, the trade and investment relationship between the US and Qatar has seen tremendous growth, marked by increased Qatari investments that have significantly benefited the US economy. In this journey of continuous growth, American companies and products stand as outstanding choices for Qatar, reflecting a mutual commitment to furthering development and prosperity.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Benaim underscored the unparalleled collaboration between the United States and Qatar, highlighting that the Sixth Strategic Dialogue featured more than twelve comprehensive sessions. This significant event was initiated with a high-level meeting between the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, and the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken. Their discussions were inclusive, tackling pressing global and regional challenges, with the participation of two undersecretaries and eight assistant secretaries overseeing different geographical and substantive areas. "Our conversations spanned a wide array of subjects, from critical Middle East issues to collaborative endeavors in higher education. We also delved into strategic communications and the cultivation of strong, dynamic people-to-people connections, all flourishing and becoming increasingly profound," Benaim noted, emphasizing the depth and breadth of topics covered, reflecting the strength and dynamism of the US-Qatar partnership. Assistant Undersecretary Saleh bin Majid Al-Khulaifi illuminated the ambitious objectives of Qatar’s Third National Development Strategy, a cornerstone of the Qatar National Vision 2030. “Centered around the pivotal pillars of Resilience, Growth, and National Development, the strategy aims to guide our country toward a prosperous and sustainable future,” Al-Khulaifi elaborated. He further underscored the dynamic expansion of the Qatar-US business partnership, noting the consistent year-on-year increase in participation at premier events like Select USA and the Qatar Economic Forum, among other significant business gatherings. Al- Khulaifi pointed out that Qatar is now home to nearly a thousand wholly owned American companies, a testament to the deepening economic ties and confidence between the two nations.

The US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue is a high-level bilateral forum between the State of Qatar and the United States which began in 2018. The dialogue aims to enhance cooperation and coordination on a range of political, economic, security, and social issues of mutual concern. The US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue provides a platform for both countries to exchange views, strengthen bilateral relations, and discuss ways to advance their shared interests. 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the United States and the State of Qatar. This milestone signifies the longevity and strength of the bilateral ties between the two countries. The United States and Qatar have established a solid base for distinguished regional and international political relations and deep commercial, security, and cultural partnerships. In recognition of this unique partnership, following the January 31, 2022, visit by Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to the White House, President Joe Biden designated Qatar as a “Major Non-NATO Ally” to the United States.