LOS ANGELES: The Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, said that he would lead a trade and investment mission to Qatar later this year.
A delegation led by the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi and Susan Ziadeh, the US Ambassador to Qatar, met with Villaraigosa on Sunday to discuss areas of mutual interest including, infrastructure, green technologies, trade and investment.
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States, one the world’s largest economies and is home to six professional sport teams. Al Thawadi and Ziadeh expressed confidence that the trade mission would deepen the vital economic relationship between Qatar and the United States, and generate economic growth and high quality investment for both countries.
The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee and the US Embassy in Qatar began a joint trade mission to the Western United States this week to tour sporting venues, visit infrastructure projects, research innovative, sustainable energy technologies and build mutually beneficial partnership opportunities for US companies as Qatar prepares to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
Commercial ties between Qatar and the United States have expanded at a rapid pace over the last seven years, with trade volumes growing from $738m in 2003 to $4.03bn in 2011.
On Monday, the Secretary General delivered a presentation to over a 100 American companies on the business opportunities the 2022 World Cup presents to the West Coast and the United States at a briefing organised by the US-Qatar Business Council and the National US Arab Chamber of Commerce. Al Thawadi explained why the 2022 Supreme Committee had chosen to initiate one of the committee’s first fact-finding business missions to the United States and specifically Los Angeles:
“We are here in the United States — a country that is very well known for nurturing and incubating innovative spirits, releasing them and creating great success stories whether on an individual basis or organisationally — in order to build mutually reciprocal partnerships with companies who are interested in using the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar as a platform to target a market of 300 million consumers across the Middle East and the Arab World. Moreover, we are not here to just reach out to the world’s largest corporations, but companies that can add true value to our vision and join us on our journey to 2022 and beyond,” he said.
This visit underscores the Qatari-American commitment to shared trade growth and to economic cooperation in US markets that meet Qatar’s demand for specialised, first-rate goods and services.
Susan Ziadeh said: “The 2022 Fifa World Cup is a key example of how Qatar’s rising international prominence is bringing about new and exciting partnership opportunities. US firms are world leaders with unique capabilities and experience in project management, event management, and other areas crucial to Qatar’s preparations to host the World Cup. American firms have a proven track record of delivering world-class projects on time and on budget.”
The joint trade mission will travel to Portland and Seattle today to study the applications of sustainability and green building ratings to public buildings and sports facilities, as well as opportunities for cross cultural knowledge sharing and international best practice design strategies.