A high-level German trade delegation, led by the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony of Federal State, Stephan Weil, will visit Qatar by the end of this month.
The trade mission, consisting of senior government officials and top executives from 60 leading German companies representing a wide range of sectors, including auto giant Volkswagen (VW), will have G2G and B2B meetings with their Qatari counterparts and expected to discuss important topics. Talks may also include the future strategic partnership between Qatar and Germany, and Volkswagen’s business plans and developing the platform for future electric mobility.
During the meeting, both sides will also explore new investment opportunities to expand and deepen the level of cooperation between the two countries.
The Minister-President of Lower Saxony, who is also referred to as Premier or Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, the state which has a 20 percent stake in Volkswagen, and Weil has been an ex-officio member of the company’s supervisory board since February 2013.
“Lower Saxony is a Federal State in the north of Germany where Volkswagen is situated. And Qatar is having a share of 17 percent in the Company. The Prime Minister of the state represents the government in the board of VW management, and during his visit, he will be meeting with Qatari leadership,” German Ambassador to Qatar Hans-Udo Musel told The Peninsula on the sidelines of an event yesterday.
The German envoy noted that between November 30 and December 2, it’s going to be a big event in Doha, especially in terms of Qatari-German economic and political relationships. Prime Minister Weil is an important political leader, who is heading a coalition government between the Social Democrats and the CDU in Lower Saxony, one of the very important regions in Germany.
Asked about further details of the trade mission, the ambassador said that more information is expected to come in days from Prime Minister’s office in Hanover which will be shared with the media. Hanover, which is the capital city of Lower Saxony, is home to many prominent German companies, including Volkswagen, which has many subsidiaries such as Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, and Škoda. It is also the center for international trade fair for IT, building machinery, and other sectors, and many Qatari officials, including Minister of Commerce and Industry, H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, visited recently as part of the plan to expand and deepen the bilateral cooperation.
“It’s important to underline that our support for Qatar is not just for business and trade. Companies are already doing great business…We are excellent partners and grateful for the cooperation. Currently, there are regional and international challenges, both politically as well as in terms of international trade and commerce but we are confident that this will be overcome soon,” added the envoy.
“Qatar has already signed a big investment agreement with VW. During the visit, Premier Weil will talk about the future strategic cooperation between Qatar and Germany about Volkswagen’s new business plans. Volkswagen is at the forefront of electric mobility, which is a very important and promising sector in European and other international markets.” Volkswagen, one of the world’s largest carmakers, last Friday announced to invest €60bn ($66.12bn) by 2024 to develop electric and hybrid cars as well as digital technologies, and R&D.
The multi-brand carmaker plans to build 75 variants of electric cars and around 60 hybrid vehicles, models. By 2029 around 26 million electric cars will be built, of which 20 million vehicles will use VW’s MEB (Modular electric drive matrix) vehicle platform, according to reports.
Qatar and Germany have been working closely in consolidating their long-standing partnership. The Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during his official visit last year committed to investing €10bn into the German economy.