Qatar and Germany are well-positioned to revive their respective economies from the impact of coronavirus disease (COIVD-19). Both the countries are working and committed to enhancing economic cooperation in the post-pandemic era by capitalizing new business opportunities, said Hans-Udo Muzel, Ambassador of Germany to Qatar, yesterday.
The bilateral economic and trade ties are expected to further deepen and expand in the coming days as more opportunities of business and investment are likely to arise as both the countries are injecting billions of dollars of funds for economic recovery.
“We are only now beginning to understand the profound repercussions the pandemic has had on the economies of our two countries and globally. Germany and Qatar are in a very good position to revive their economies once the pandemic is contained. They can capitalize on their strong and longstanding business relations based on mutual trust and respect. German companies are very much committed to their presence in Qatar which sometimes dates back many decades and are eager to continue their fruitful cooperation with their Qatari partners,” Ambassador Muzel told The Peninsula through email, yesterday. Muzel added: “The pandemic proves to us, that international cooperation is more important than ever. COVID-19 does not stop at borders; neither should our solidarity and cooperation. We will only be able to overcome this crisis if we can get a grip on it globally. Germany will therefore focus its presidency of the European Union (EU) on winning the fight against the pandemic.”
Germany, the Europe’s largest economy, is set to take over the presidency of the 27-member EU from July 1, 2020 for six months. Germany and Qatar both are working aggressively to support businesses in their respective countries to stimulate growth which has been impacted by lockdowns due to the COIVD-19. “We believe that sharing national experiences can be instrumental in learning from each other and establishing best practices.
Together, Qatar and Germany should accept this economic challenge linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and take it as an opportunity to rebuild their economies more efficient and sustainable than before, said the German envoy.
Commenting on Qatar’s and Germany’s prompt and remarkable responses to contain the spread of the virus, Muzel noted: “The measures that were implemented globally to contain the spread of COVID-19 are unprecedented. Both Germany and Qatar have taken swift and comprehensive measures to contain the virus and limit the loss of life as much as possible. Both countries have done remarkably well in this respect so far.”
Germany is Qatar’s leading investment destinations in the world. Qatar has shareholdings in several prominent German companies including Volkswagen, Deutsche Bank, Siemens, Hochtief (construction giant), and SolarWorld, and others. Qatar through QIA (one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds) and private sector players, exploring investment opportunities in several promising sectors, including manufacturing, information technology and automation.
According to latest available data, Qatar’s investment in Germany has crossed €35bn (QR141bn), which may go up to €45bn if the private Qatari investment (including portfolio investments) is added.
“Countdown for Germany’s EU Presidency, starting July 1st. Stay tuned to learn more about the preparations, program, timetable, logo & much more on EU2020. de! The German Embassy in Doha will be the focal point for EU-Qatar cooperation!,” the Ambassador Muzel Tweeted recently. “We want our EU Presidency to serve the European cause. We want to provide new impetus as an honest broker. We want to stimulate the economy, strengthen internal cohesion, and to act united in foreign policy matters,” German Foreign Office said in a tweet yesterday, which was re-tweeted by the German Embassy Doha, yesterday.
Qatar and Germany are working in close cooperation and exploring ways of expanding bilateral economic ties in new areas, which will include energy, IT, innovation, skill and SME development. A high level 40-member German trade delegation led by the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony of Federal State, Stephan Weil, visited Qatar early last December. During the visit, several meetings were held with senior Qatari officials, including a meeting between Qatar Petroleum (QP) and German company Uniper to supply Qatari LNG directly to Germany’s planned LNG terminal. Prime Minister Weil had termed the negotiations have reached “very deep and concrete stages”.