The Secretary-General of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, Hassan Al Thawadi (left), with the US Ambassador to Qatar Susan Ziadeh and the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, in Los Angeles.
DOHA: The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee and the US Embassy in Qatar concluded a joint trade mission to Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle this week. The delegation, led by the Secretary-General of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, Hassan Al Thawadi and Susan Ziadeh, US Ambassador to the Qatar, toured sporting venues, visited infrastructure projects and laid the foundation for mutually beneficial partnerships with US companies as Qatar prepares to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
Commercial ties between Qatar and the United States have expanded over the last seven years, with trade volumes growing from $738m in 2003 to $4.03bn in 2011. As part of the Joint Trade Mission, the Secretary General delivered presentations to hundreds of American companies in Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle on the business opportunities the 2022 Fifa World Cup Qatar presents at briefings organised by the US Commercial Service.
Hassan Al Thawadi explained why the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee had chosen to initiate one of the Committee’s first fact-finding business missions in the United States and on the West Coast. He said: “We have been extremely impressed with the calibre of companies and individuals that we have been introduced to this week. The United States is renowned as a hub for innovation and on this visit we have witnessed inspiring projects in the fields of design, sustainability and sports development.”
“We must now build on these relationships with our American and international counterparts and ultimately use the 2022 Fifa World Cup as a platform to articulate, develop and improve on international best practice for infrastructure, for renewable technology and for the tournament itself,” he added.
As part of the visit, the Secretary-General and the US Ambassador met with Antonio Villaraigosa, the Mayor of Los Angeles (LA), and Charlie Hales, the Mayor of Portland, in their respective cities to discuss infrastructure projects, green technologies, trade and investment.
LA hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games and was one of the nine host cities of the 1994 Fifa World Cup United States. “Los Angeles is the creative, entertainment and innovation capital of the world and we are on the forefront of international trade and tourism,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “So I look forward to exploring the new ways LA and its businesses can partner and collaborate with Qatar as it prepares for 2022 Fifa World Cup and beyond.”
Portland businesses, actively engaging in projects in Qatar and the Middle East, have positioned Oregon as a leader in sustainable design and planning, as well as in green technology. “Portland and Qatar have longstanding ties in education and business, and a shared passion for soccer and sustainability. Our citizens and companies welcome the opportunity to work together to make the 2022 World Cup a great success,” said Mayor Charlie Hales.
During the visit, the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee also researched innovative, sustainable energy technologies; studied the applications of sustainability and green building ratings to public buildings and sports facilities; and were briefed on international best practice design strategies.
Commenting on the mission Ambassador 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,” she added.
Members of the Committee’s Technical Department visited several iconic sport facilities of the West Coast including, the Rose Bowl, the Home Depot Centre, the Staples Centre, Jeld-Wen Field, CenturyLink Field, Safeco Field and the to-be-constructed Farmers Field in order to research redevelopment, entertainment, cultural and legacy ideas that can be applied to stadiums in Qatar.
This visit underscored both countries commitment to shared trade, growth and economic co-operation in US markets that meet Qatar’s demand for specialised, first-rate goods and services.
The US-Qatar Business Council will jointly host a Qatar 2022-related trade mission to Qatar with the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce in June.
The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee is tasked with delivering an amazing Fifa World Cup while ensuring that its preparations align with Qatar’s other development imperatives, as described in the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 2011-2015.