Qatar’s economic and trade cooperation with Germany and Italy is expected to witness a major boost in the coming years. All the stakeholders, including top government officials and business leaders from all these countries are working aggressively to further deepen and expand the area of bilateral cooperation.
The combined value of Qatar’s trade exchange with these two major European trade partners (Germany and Italy) reached QR18.97bn (€4.5bn) in 2017, which is expected to witness significant growth in 2018.
According to data provided by embassies of both the countries in Qatar, the trade volume between Qatar and Germany amounted to about €2.5bn in 2017, making Germany one of Qatar’s most important trading partners. And the total value of Qatar-Italy trade exchange stood at €2bn last year.
“As a matter of fact, we rank as number three among Qatar’s main trade, business and – most important – technology partners. We look forward to being an active partner in Qatar’s Vision 2030 development plans for the country’s state-of-the-art infrastructure, for the gas and oil sector, transport, the new non-oil industrial base, information technology, research and technology, and higher education,” German Ambassador to Qatar, Hans-Udo Muzel, said yesterday.
Muzel, addressing at a press conference held to announce the launch of this year’s Back 2 Business event, added: “The Qatari economy has done remarkably well over the past year despite the difficult circumstances. Economic growth is expected to hover between 3 percent and 4 percent in the years to come and Qatar has continued to invest in markets abroad. This is indicative of the resilience of the Qatari economy.”
On his part, Italian Ambassador to Qatar Pasquale Salzano, added: “I am here today to support the importance of networking for business.
We began to promote initiatives in Doha such as the Back 2 Business-Networking Event, with the German colleagues,15 years ago to create occasions for sharing insights on the Qatari market and bridging ideas relying on different international expertise.”
He added that more and more Italian companies are looking forward to establishing business operations and factories in Qatar, especially in the free-trade zones.
“We are witnessing a phase of great renewal in the economy of Qatar, the awareness of being able to depend on the country’s potential as well as the new generations, is the driving force for this renaissance.
For the Italian and the international business community, that are eager to cooperate in the country’s progress, this is another great opportunity to share expertise and best practices with local companies, treasuring the added value of the lessons learned in the past 15 years.”
He also noted that the agro-food sector has expanded immensely in the past two years and efforts are directed to foster cooperation between the Qatari and Italian private sector in the fields of agriculture and livestock production, feed production and food processing, in addition to introducing Qatari businessmen to the most important Italian agricultural products.
To boost cooperation in the field of tourism, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) in September signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with German Aida Cruises and Italian Costa Cruises to establish a partnership aimed at developing cruise tourism with Qatar.
The two cruise lines will potentially bring up to 45,000 passengers in the coming season. The first cruise ship is expected to land at Qatari shore on November 8.
“Tourism offers a great potential for business cooperation and investment. We are ready to share our expertise hoping to give a positive contribution to the plans of development launched by Qatar Government through Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA),” added the Italian envoy.
“We have already a group of 14 certified Italian speaking guides in Doha ready to welcome the cruise tourists. Some of them are also involved through the Italian chamber of commerce with a project called ‘Follow Italy in Qatar’ that is aimed at offering recommendations on Italian destinations for anyone interested to travel to Italy.”
On tourism cooperation, the German ambassador said that the 2022 World Cup will certainly have positive effects as it helps to establish Qatar as an international sports hub and tourist destination, also for soccer fans and travelers from Germany and other European countries.