Minister of Commerce and Industry H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari yesterday expressed his aspiration for Qatar to host the next session of the Qatari-German Joint Commission in Doha in 2021. He was speaking at a webinar on Qatar’s business and investment environment, which was organized by the Qatari Embassy in Berlin in cooperation with the German Near and Middle East Association (NUMOV).
During the event, Minister Al Kuwari said Qatari-German bilateral trade has gained considerable momentum in recent times, reaching $2.311bn in 2019. Germany is now Qatar’s 11th largest trade partner, he added. A total of 332 German companies are currently operating in Qatar, including 270 Qatari-German companies, 46 fully owned German companies, and two German representative offices, in addition to 14 companies licensed under the umbrella of the Qatar Financial Centre.
He said these companies contribute to the implementation of several major projects in the infrastructure sector such as Qatar Rail, development of key stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, in addition to other vital ventures in various fields.
Minister Al Kuwari added that Qatar has made significant investments in a range of German industries, especially following the historic visit of the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Germany in 2018, where he announced Qatar’s intention to invest €10bn into the German economy over the five years up to 2023.
Also speaking during the event, Mohammad Jaham Al Kuwari, Former Qatari Ambassador to Germany, added that Qatar is strongly committed to further intensifying the excellent relations between the two nations. He added that the strength of Qatar’s economy and companies remains evident despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also hailed the efforts of globally operating companies such as Qatar Airways, which has significantly expanded its market share. Speaking during the panel discussion on ‘Invest in Qatar’, Qatar Development Bank CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa said that since the COVID-19 outbreak, QDB has launched several initiatives within the framework of a trilateral strategy to help SMEs survive the pandemic, revive their businesses amid ongoing challenges, and ultimately thrive in the new economy.
He added that QDB and its affiliate institutions will continue to provide SMEs with all the tools and resources they need in the areas of finance, knowledge, and skills development, while also helping them to successfully extend their footprint, including through collaboration with their German counterparts to achieve more growth and contribute to the economic development of both nations.
Qatar Financial Centre Authority CEO Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, added: “Qatar has been at the forefront in maintaining its thriving economy and strengthening its lucrative investment eco-system, which are integral factors for attracting German investments into the Qatari Market. Backed by our host of premium benefits and incentives, QFC proudly pursues its role as a core enabler for German firms to access Qatar’s lucrative market and establish their business through a seamless unique journey.
The QFC platform, one of the world’s leading and fastest-growing onshore business and financial centers, is currently home to 14 German firms, and we look forward to welcoming more very soon.”
Qatar Investment Promotion Agency CEO Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al Thani, added: “As businesses continue to transform for the new economy, many investment opportunities are emerging across sectors, and we see plenty of prospects for German-Qatari collaboration as we move towards a digital economy, where business, communication, and consumer experiences are re-imagined. This includes areas such as Fintech, e-health, e-learning, and virtual entertainment, among others”.
The webinar was also attended by German officials including Thomas Bareiß, the Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and Co-Chairman of the QatariGerman Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation, Dr. Claudius Fischbach, German Ambassador to Qatar; and others.