US-Qatar Business Council
The US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC) managing director Mohamed Barakat called on the United States to benefit from Qatar's expertise in organizing the 2026 World Cup events, pointing to the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries to exchange expertise in this field.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), Barakat hailed the organization of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in terms of managing crowds and stadiums, in addition to the use of technology, adding that the US should benefit from all this experience in organizing.
He pointed out that one of the factors that characterize the 2026 World Cup, other than the fact that it includes 48 countries and three host countries (the United States, Canada, and Mexico), is that the matches will take place in different states, such as New Jersey, Atlanta or Los Angeles, and each of these places has different management patterns, as the metro in New Jersey is completely different from Los Angeles, so Qatar's experience in the field of transportation, especially the metro, will be beneficial, and the organizing committees in each state will benefit from Qatar's expertise in this field, even in Canada and Mexico. He added there is also a lot of technical expertise that can be exchanged between the organizers.
Barakat stressed Qatar's success in organizing the World Cup events, expressing his admiration for what it has achieved.
He described the malicious campaign targeting Qatar and its organization of the World Cup as "unfair." He said the launch of malicious campaigns began years ago and those campaigns intensified a week before the start of the World Cup, even before the opening ceremony began and before, anyone witnessed it, adding that they started talking about the championship as if it had happened and this indicates that some want to say something before they actually see it. He pointed out that success has already been achieved, especially in the 32-team group stage, which went smoothly. Heads of state and ordinary fans have experienced it firsthand and no matter what they do or say, it won't change what people see on the ground, he explained.
When it comes to the truth, these people know that everything they write about organizing this tournament is not accurate and exaggerated, including exaggerating the numbers and the construction of tournament facilities, he outlined.
Barakat pointed to the reforms that Qatar introduced in the labor market, including the adoption of the minimum wage and the guaranteed payment system, adding that all of these things are unique in the region and Qatar now has a complete and comprehensive labor system but everyone is seeking more reforms.
Commenting on the fifth strategic dialogue between Qatar and the US, the USQBC managing director indicated that the dialogue focused on the economic and trade aspects, which are two main aspects of the relations between the two countries, and also focused on supporting joint investments between the two sides.
Barakat stressed that with each session of the strategic dialogue between Qatar and the United States, workshops are organized to ensure the removal of obstacles and difficulties that may appear, stressing that a lot of business opportunities between the two sides exist, especially with the end of the World Cup.
US-Qatar Business Council Managing Director highlighted that Qatar has come a long way in terms of sustainability, especially in terms of facilities management, underlining that the tourism sector will also be one of the priority sectors for the American investor, especially after the great publicity gained by Qatar as a result of hosting the World Cup, which at the same time requires the completion of tourist facilities, and then new investments in this area, as he explained, there are also other sectors such as security, defense and energy, and joint industries.
In this context, Barakat mentioned that the volume of trade with Qatar amounted to $6.8 billion in 2019, and the total Qatari investments in the United States currently amount to $250 billion.
He said the State was keen to develop legislation and infrastructure to attract foreign investments, considering that the technical and knowledge exchange for the establishment of manufacturing facilities in Qatar to serve the region can expand in the future.
He underscored the shift witnessed by Qatari investments in the public and private sectors, by going beyond the federal level to include the State, noting the role played by Qatari institutions in attracting American investments to Qatar.
He concluded by saying underlining the role played by Qatari institutions, including the Investment Promotion Agency, Qatar Free Zones, the Qatar Financial Center, and many other agencies in attracting American investments to Qatar, clarifying that Qatar continues to develop tax incentives and business rules to attract more investments, adding that this role is also played by the US-Qatar Business Council in cooperation with the commercial attache offices.
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