AIA and ITA Complete Three-Day Trade Mission to Qatar

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the International Trade Administration (ITA), a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce, recently completed a three-day architecture services trade mission to Doha, Qatar, to expand prospects for American architects overseas and to introduce U.S. firms to the expanding and diversifying Qatari market.

Qatar continues to cultivate new projects and broaden its economic scope, which presents new opportunities to external markets.

To 2015 AIA President-Elect Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, this mission represented "another opportunity to expand the reach of architectural talent around the globe."

The focus of AIA and ITA's joint mission centered on opportunities for U.S. architectural firms familiar with master planning (port redevelopment and city or regional planning) and with architectural experience in hospitals and healthcare architecture, airports and other transportation facilities, mixed-use projects, and facilities for hospitality, sports, entertainment, and education. Throughout the mission, the participants had the opportunity to meet and establish working relationships with local architects, developers, and government officials through market briefings, networking lunches, business-to-business meetings, and site visits.

"U.S. design firms are world leaders with capabilities and experience, and we welcome the opportunity to form new relationships with our Qatari partners," said Dana Shell Smith, U.S. Ambassador to Qatar.

Over the next five years, Qatar will dedicate over $250 billion to physical infrastructure and other developments in support of its 2030 national vision, which has four pillars of development: economic, social, human, and environmental. As part of its environmental development, Qatar plans to balance between developmental needs and the protection of its natural environment through a comprehensive urban development plan that adopts a sustainable policy for urban expansion and population distribution. Likewise, to aid in Qatar's economic development, the vision plan describes a desire to create a diversified economy that gradually reduces its dependence on hydrocarbon industries.