LONDON/DUBAI, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Qatar plans to invest at least $10 billion in U.S. ports and has approached international banks for financing help, three finance sources say, in an infrastructure spree that reflects the Gulf country’s deepening ties with Washington.
The Middle East and Western sources familiar with the matter said Doha was targeting investments in ports around the U.S. East Coast which were expected to be developed in phases, adding that the plan was at a preliminary stage.
The country’s sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority and the Qatar Government Communication Office both declined to comment.
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“The Qataris have been preparing for almost a year to test the waters with U.S. port investments,” said Michael Frodl, a U.S.-based adviser on projects including maritime security, commerce and infrastructure, who is familiar with Qatar’s strategy.
“We think that a shrewd investor with the $10 billion the Qataris desire to put into American port infrastructure would likely look at the underserved East Coast first and foremost. The West Coast is getting all the U.S. government and private investment attention, while the East Coast is long overdue for improvements.”
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