Washington is among Doha’s most important allies, with the two countries cooperating in various regional and global issues of common concern.
Qatar-US trade reached $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, making Washington one of Doha’s most important trade partners.
This was announced during a meeting on Wednesday between Chairman of Qatar Chamber Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani and a delegation of US Congress members headed by Representative Darrell Edward Issa from California.
According to Qatar News Agency [QNA], bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $5.4 billion.
Sheikh Khalifa said Doha is willing to further increase its private sector investments in the US while expressing the chamber’s keenness to strengthen cooperation between businessmen from the two countries.
The US is Qatar’s largest foreign direct investor and its largest source of imports, with over 120 American companies operating in the Gulf state.
Between 2018 and 2019 alone, US exports to Qatar witnessed a 47.7% increase, amounting to $6.5 billion in 2019.
Qatar and the US established diplomatic ties in 1972, marking the beginning of a strategic alliance between the two countries in numerous global issues and fields.
The Gulf state also hosts the Al-Udeid Air Base, the biggest American military outpost in the Middle East and North Africa region, and CENTCOM Forward Headquarters, as well as the As Sayliyah Army Base.
At least 10,000 American military service members are based in Al-Udeid.
The military base’s location in Qatar has played an important role in recent weeks, especially since the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul on 15 August.
Qatar has managed to facilitate the evacuation of more than 50,000 Afghans and foreigners from Kabul, some of which have been placed in the Al-Udeid Air Base to await the processing of their Special Immigrant Visas [SIVs].
In the aftermath of the US and NATO troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Washington also moved its embassy from Kabul to Doha to allow diplomats to carry out diplomatic operations outside of the country.
Meanwhile, the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture is currently underway, bringing both countries together in a range of events to exchange and learn more about the two cultures.