Two separate high-level German trade delegations, led by the Deputy Minister of Economics and Energy, Thomas Bareiss and Prime Minister of the Federal State of Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil, are set to visit Qatar in November to resume discussions on major business projects with their Qatari counterparts.
Talks related to cybersecurity and the cooperation between Qatari and German ports including the planned partnership in the construction of a new LNG terminal in Germany are high on the agenda of the visiting officials, German Ambassador to Qatar Hans-Udo Muzel has said.
Qatar, the world’s top LNG exporter, has previously announced its interest to participate in the construction of a new LNG terminal in Germany, which is the largest economy and the largest energy consumer in Europe.
Muzel said the construction of an LNG terminal is the most significant project to date. “This is what is being discussed and it’s a huge investment. The decision has to be made by both sides. The German side has to decide first on which German port to construct the LNG terminal,” Muzel said while talking to the media on the sidelines of an event in Doha recently.
Daniel Schemske, Germany’s Deputy Head of Mission to Qatar, added that there are also ongoing talks on plans to have direct shipping links between Qatari and German ports, but there is still no final decision on the said discussions.
The German Ambassador added: “There are talks including this project which is put into action with Qatar Petroleum, and there are ports in Germany which are still tendering for that. We have a big trade delegation coming by the end of November led by Stephan Weil, the Prime Minister of the Federal State of Lower Saxony, which is a German state where these ports are situated. In this context, we are looking forward to having continued talks on that”.
Schemske added: “Lower Saxony is also considered as the food center of Germany. There are a lot of agri industries and food processing being done there. So we expect a couple of companies from the food sector to be part of the delegation as well”.
Germany is a major Qatari partner in the country’s food security program and is strongly involved in developing Qatar’s free zones. German consulting company Dorsch Qatar is currently the project manager for the QR1.6bn Hamad Port Food Security Project.
The Peninsula has recently reported that 70 percent of the construction for Qatar’s flagship food security project is already complete, and the massive food infrastructure is expected to be fully operational within one year, according to the Qatar Chamber.
“Construction for the facility is running very well. Approximately in one year, it will be up and running,” added Peter Neuschaefer, Operations Director at Dorsch Qatar.
Aside from trade talks, German officials will also discuss cybersecurity with their Qatari counterparts. Bareiss will lead a German delegation who will attend the upcoming QITCOM 2019, which will also be held jointly with the Munich Security Conference Core Group Meeting in Doha. The event will bring together high-profile representatives of governments, international organizations, business, militaries, and academia to discuss regional and global security issues.
According to data released by the Qatar Chamber, bilateral trade between Qatar and Germany reached $2.1bn last year, while Qatari investments in Germany amounted to €25bn. Qatar has also previously announced it will invest €10bn more to support the German economy over the next five years. The investments are also expected to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including young entrepreneurs in Germany.