Qatar’s economic ties with the United States have steadily grown in recent years, with the state of Qatar ranking as the fourth largest market in the Middle East for US exports of goods and services. Trade between the US and Qatar amounted to nearly six billion dollars in 2017, with Qatar importing $4.88 billion worth of goods and services.
The two most recent developments coming at the tail of the Emir of Qatar’s visit to the US are deals being discussed with American companies Exxon and Boeing. Qatar Airways is currently in talks with Boeing corporation to acquire nearly five wide body Boeing freighter aircraft valued at $1.7 billion. This acquisition would add to Qatar Airways’ current 100 Boeing aircraft fleet that has an additional 100 more on order.
This is further complimented by early discussion between Qatar Gas, a subdivision of Qatar Petroleum, and ExxonMobil. The two companies are expected to finalize a gas exploration and export deal that would see Qatar Petroleum investing $10 billion in fields from East Texas to North Dakota.
Trade figures between the two nations are expected to increase even further as the Emir of Qatar meets with policy makers and military officials in Washington this week. In 2017, the sale of 24 Apache helicopters was approved at a price of $667 million dollars. In addition to the helicopter purchase, Qatar also acquired the Patriot and Javelin air-defense systems at a total price valued to be $11 billion.
The previous sale is now being complemented through the most recent purchase of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) at a price of $300 million that was approved by the Pentagon and the State Department. The deal would benefit BAE Systems and its subsidiaries. This sale comes at the heel of a March agreement that would provide military hardware upgrades and other equipment to the Qatari Air Force valued at $197 million.
Additionally, early this year (2018) Qatar announced the expansion and upgrading of facilities and housing for the nearly 10000 US troops stationed at CENTCOM headquarters at Al Udeid air base. This upgrading of facilities will now be complemented with possible talks regarding the expansion of naval base facilities for the US 5th fleet at Hamad port.
(Image Source: San Antonia Express News)