During a keynote speech in Washington, Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar al-Baker shared his insights on Qatar Airways and its unique position in global aviation. Addressing policymakers, students, intelligence officials and governmental leaders, he spoke of how the carrier was increasingly playing a pivotal role in Qatar’s economic growth. The chief executive also spoke of the importance of Qatar’s geographical position in the prosperous GCC region. Al-Baker was speaking at the 21st Annual Arab-US Policy Makers Conference in the US capital on the subject “Unprecedented emergence of the aviation sector in the GCC”. Other speakers included Qatar Ambassador to the US Mohamed bin Abdulla al-Rumaihi, the former Saudi Arabia ambassador to the US Prince Turki al-Faisal al-Sa’ud, and United States Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs Jose W Fernandez. Al-Baker said that the GCC region stood apart as a powerful base in global aviation, spurring new alliances, international route expansion and uncompromising service standards. Al-Baker’s speech also covered Qatar’s confident outlook on the future, as directed by Qatar National Vision 2030 with its four pillars for sustainability – economic, social, human, and environmental. “At Qatar Airways and in Qatar we want to nurture a continuation of the region’s growth. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to link Doha with as many global gateways as possible,” said al-Baker. “We believe that by being a global connector, we act as an enabler; a purveyor of economic growth, bringing people and businesses closer together.” During his speech, al-Baker stressed on the close relationship Qatar and the other GCC countries shared with the US. “US exports to Qatar include aircraft, machinery, cars, trucks and agricultural products, as well as universities with American educational establishments in Qatar. Hundreds of Qataris study at US academic institutions every year, both in campuses in Qatar and across the United States. “We look forward to even more US investment in Qatar as we move forward with a National Development Strategy which is designed to improve infrastructure, real estate and medical facilities over the next decade and is funded in part from the expanding tourism and conference industry which is made possible, again, by Qatar Airways,” he added.