The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee and the U.S. 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 US $738 Million in 2003 to $4.03 Billion in 2011.
On Sunday afternoon, the delegation led by the Secretary General of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, Hassan Al Thawadi and H.E. Susan Ziadeh, U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar, met with Antonio Villaraigosa, the Mayor of Los Angeles, 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.
In the meeting, the Mayor announced that he would lead a reciprocal trade and investment mission to Qatar later this year.
“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.”
Secretary General Al Thawadi and Ambassador 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.
Over three days in Los Angeles and Portland, the Secretary General delivered presentations to over two hundred American companies on the business opportunities the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ presents at briefings organized by the U.S. Commercial Service and the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce.
During those briefings, 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:
“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 organizationally – in order to build mutually reciprocal partnerships with companies who are interested in using the 2022 FIFA World Cup 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 small and medium enterprises that can add true value to Our Vision and join us on Our Journey to 2022 and beyond,” he added.
This visit underscores the Qatari-American commitment to shared trade, growth and economic co-operation in U.S. markets that meet Qatar’s demand for specialized, first-rate goods and services.
Commenting on the mission H.E. Susan Ziadeh, U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar 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.”
“U.S. 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.
In Los Angeles and Portland, Members of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee’s Technical Department participated in fact-finding missions to iconic sports facilities.
L.A. hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games and was one of the nine host cities of the 1994 FIFA World Cup United States™.
With site visits to the Rose Bowl, the Home Depot Center, the Staples Center, Jeld-Wen Field and the to-be-constructed Farmers Field, the Technical Department of the Committee researched redevelopment, entertainment, cultural and legacy ideas that can be applied to stadiums in Qatar.
Richard Swanson, Network Director, Pacific South Network, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, thanked Qatar for partnering with the Service on the mission:
“On behalf of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, we appreciate being a partner with the country of Qatar and the many trade organizations and U.S. companies in working together to promote commercial and cultural exchange between our two countries for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
The Joint Trade Mission continues Thursday and Friday in Seattle 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.