Congressman Michael San Nicolas promoted the economic opportunities on Guam during a recent financial services congressional delegation to Doha, Qatar.
During the visit, the congressman said he was able to engage with Qatari finance and investment leaders about opportunities on Guam.
“Decades ago Governor Carl Gutierrez coined Guam ‘An Asian Tiger with American Stripes’ and today that holds true,” San Nicolas said in a release.
As a result of the visit, San Nicolas already wrote to Guam Chamber of Commerce Chairman Joe Arnett, encouraging the formation of a public/private delegation to pursue Qatari Sovereign Wealth Fund opportunities.
In the letter the congressman outlined his meetings with Qatari Finance Minister His Excellency Mr. Ali Sharif Al Emadi and Qatar Investment Authority CEO Mansoor Bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, specifying key Guam investment characteristics.
“Over the course of the meeting, I shared with them the unique opportunity Guam presents as an investment market that presents both United States and Asia exposure. In particular, I compared our tourist to population ratio with that of Qatar, both of which are approximately 10:1, and how investing in Guam is a sole-source solution to broad diversification of the Qatari tourism portfolio,” wrote San Nicolas.
According to the congressman, Qatar is actively investing in the United States, with $65 billion invested so far this year, and an additional $10 billion looking for placement.
“Upon sharing such sentiments, it was expressed in both meetings that the Qatari are interested in committing up to 70% of their future investment cash flow into the United States, and that they are interested in accessing Asian markets. Additionally, of an approximate $65 billion already committed this year for US investment, approximately $10 billion remains uninvested due to a lack of opportunities that meet Qatari targets. These resources are available for investment and a tremendous opportunity for Guam and our people,” wrote San Nicolas.
During the meetings, San Nicolas said he was afforded a unique opportunity to be informed of the Qatar Investment Authority target rates of return, cashflow targets, and minimum investment thresholds, all of which will be valuable in matching Guam opportunities with Qatari capital.
“It would be prudent to form a public/private delegation to engage the Qatari and present projects and investment opportunities that align Guam development prospects with Qatari investment objectives,” the congressman said.
He added: “Sovereign Wealth Fund investments are an entirely untapped resource for Guam economic development. Our ability to engage these entities diplomatically in my position as Vice-Chairman of the Financial Services Committee opens the door for relationships to be established that align shared interests and strengthen ties with the United States.”
Qatar is a key U.S. defense ally, hosting American troops on Al Udeid Airforce Base where Congressman San Nicolas recently visited Guam troops.