Doha: The US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC) organized a business visit to Chicago, Illinois on November 17 to engage with key policymakers and the local business community to expand business partnerships between the State of Qatar and the State of Illinois and to improve.
The following officials attended the visit: Mohammed bin Sultan Al Kuwari, Consul General of the State of Qatar in New York; Fahad Al Dosari, Qatar State Commercial Attaché in the United States; Mohammed Barakat, Managing Director and Treasurer of the Board of Directors, US-Qatar Business Council
The business visit began with a virtual meeting between the group and Congressman Darin Lahood, US Representative from Illinois’ 18th District. Participants discussed the importance of the relationship between Qatar and the State of Illinois and ways to enhance future business and investment relationships.
During the Business Luncheon, hosted by USQBC, the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago, attendees were able to network, learn and explore business opportunities between the State of Illinois and the State of Qatar.
The following representatives made remarks over lunch: Mohammed bin Sultan Al Kuwari, Consul General of the State of Qatar in New York; Fahad Al Dosari, Qatar Commercial Attaché in the United States; Mohammed Barakat, Executive Director and Treasurer of the Board, US-Qatar Business Council.
“The State of Qatar and the State of Illinois are both thriving centers of commerce and some of the most dynamic economies in the world,” said Mohammed bin Sultan Al Kuwari, Consul General of the State of Qatar in New York City. “This visit demonstrates Qatar’s commitment to forging new partnerships and expanding trade and investment with Illinois. We look forward to a successful future together.”
“Both Illinois and Qatar are among the best places to do business in the world, and we see many opportunities for Illinois-based companies in Qatar and welcome Qatari investment in Illinois,” said Mohammed Barakat, Managing Director and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of USQBC. “This visit demonstrates the commitment of both sides to enhance investment and trade ties across their many overlapping industries.”
“Illinois companies will find it easy to do business and incorporate in Qatar,” said Fahad Al-Dosari, Qatar State Commercial Attaché in the United States. “Our government has several programs underway to encourage investment across a range of industries. including renewable energy, ICT and smart cities to achieve economic diversification and sustainability that could benefit Illinois-based businesses, particularly SMEs.”
Following the conclusion of the business lunch, the delegation traveled to meet Michael Fassnacht, President and CEO of World Business Chicago and Chief Marketing Officer of the City of Chicago to discuss opportunities for further trade and investment between the business communities of the City of Chicago and the State of Qatar.
The delegation then traveled to Northwestern University’s campus in Evanston, Illinois for a site visit. They were given a tour of the facilities and were briefed on the collaboration between their Illinois campus and their Qatar campus. Northwestern University is a private research university and the oldest incorporated university in Illinois and one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world.
In 2008, Northwestern University partnered with the Qatar Foundation to open the university’s first international campus in Qatar. It offers students the opportunity to study media and earn a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism or communication.
Qatar and the state of Illinois already enjoy a thriving business relationship, with total exports from Illinois to Qatar in 2019 totaling US$74.5 million, far exceeding the amount Illinois imported from Qatar in the same year amounted to US$630,292.
In 2012, Qatar’s Al Faisal Holding Company LLC acquired the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago through Seldar Holdings – the North American business development arm of wholly owned Al Rayyan Tourism and Investment (ARTIC).