WASHINGTON, The US and Qatar’s economic and commercial partnership is estimated to exceed USD 7.5 billion in trade, in 2016, leveraging Qatar to be among the top four markets in the Middle East for US exports of goods, according to a joint statement.

The estimate came out, after the US and Qatar held its second annual Economic Investment Dialogue meeting.

The series of discussions were co-chaired by Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Charles Rivkin, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Anne Patterson, and Qatar Minister of Finance, Ali Shareef Al Emad.

During the meeting, officials discussed a “range of measures aimed to deepen economic ties and promote new and ongoing bilateral initiatives,” said a joint statement.

The measures include “mechanisms for promoting investment, such as, a bilateral investment treaty; SelectUSA and other programmes, designed to facilitate investments in the United States; special economic zones and other programmes to promote investment in Qatar; and opportunities for collaboration in key business areas, such as energy, aviation, and intellectual property rights,” it said.

Officials also reviewed the US-Qatar economic partnership, including the expansion of the Qatar Investment Authority office in New York, which plans to invest USD 35 billion in the United States, from 2016 to 2021; the establishment of a Global Entry facility, at Hamad International Airport in Qatar; new aviation passenger safety bilateral agreements; and the Sister City Agreement between Doha and Los Angeles, signed in Nov, 2016, it said.

The next annual meeting is planned for the fall of 2017 in Washington DC.


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