Qatar Chamber Hosts Virtual Qatar-Germany Business Forum
Under the patronage of Qatar Chamber (QC) Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani, the Qatar-Germany Business Forum kicked off recently through a video conference.
The forum was presided over by Sheikh Khalifa and President of the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peter Ramsauer, in the presence of Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Germany HE Mohammed bin Jaham al Kuwari, Vice President of the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry Olaf Hoffmann, General Secretary of the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abdulaziz Al Mikhlafi and Qatar Chamber General Manager Saleh bin Hamad Al Sharqi.
The two sides reviewed trade and investment cooperation and discuss establishing alliances and partnerships that support both countries’ economies.
Sheikh Khalifa stressed the forum’s importance in shedding light on bolstering cooperation between Qatari and German businessmen and exploring new opportunities between the private sector of both countries, especially under the current challenges related to the outbreak of COVID-19.
He praised the strong and close relation between Qatar and Germany, especially the economic and commercial aspects, noting that their bilateral trade grew by 10%, from US$2.1 billion in 2018 to US$2.3 billion last year. He said this means that Germany is a very essential trade partner for Qatar.
Sheikh Khalifa noted that the bilateral relations between the two countries have evolved considerably following the visit of HH the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Germany in 2018. The Amir’s visit witnessed the announcement for the allocation of investments worth €10 billion to support the German economy during the next five years and the signing of many important agreements that contributed to further developing cooperation ties and stimulating investments between both countries.
Regarding mutual investments, Sheikh Khalifa said that there are about 300 German companies operating in Qatar, which are active in many fields such as rail, trade, contracting, services, communication, infrastructure, medical equipment and devices, and others.
Germany is one of the most important investment destinations for Qatar, where the value of Qatari investments in Germany exceeded €25 billion in many sectors.
Plenty of Opportunities
Qatar’s economy offers plenty of investment opportunities that attract foreign investors and international companies, especially in the presence of a set of economic laws and legislations that provide a safe and stable environment for investment.
Sheikh Khalifa assured that the chamber welcomes German companies willing to invest in Qatar and benefit from the investment incentives and opportunities available, pointing out that there is a significant room for German companies to participate in the projects pertaining to Qatar 2022 World Cup.
He also invited Qatari companies to identify the opportunities available in Germany and establish active partnerships and economic alliances with the German side in various sectors.
Peter Ramsauer said that Qatar and Germany are linked – with close relations in all fields – affirming that Qatar has managed to accomplish great development and is moving rapidly towards achieving economic development.
Qatar has defeated the siege imposed on it since 2017. It has benefitted much from that siege through reordering its economic priorities and achieving the self-sufficiency.
He noted that there is a large business delegation visiting Qatar to meet with their Qatari counterparts and explore the Qatari market after the pandemic.
Ramsauer also paid tribute to the Qatari stimuli package and measures taken by the government during the current crisis to support the private sector.
Bound by Partnership
The Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Germany HE Mohammed bin Jaham al Kuwari said that Germany and Qatar are bound by a ‘close partnership’ that not only looks back on a long tradition but also covers a wide range of political, social and particularly economic areas, emphasising that Qatar is interested to further strengthen the excellent relations with Germany.
The forum would contribute to further strengthening the outstanding cooperation and networks as well as attracting new entrepreneurial opportunities allowing the country to face global challenges with strong economic, political and sustainable commitment.
The ambassador also referred to the meeting between The Amir and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the occasion of the Qatar-Germany Business and Investment Forum 2018. The meeting witnessed Qatar’s commitment to invest massively and with long-term-focused to the German economy and to further expand its already extensive economic relations.
Qatar offers great possibilities and opportunities for German companies. Partly due to its geographical location, it has developed into a global trading centre that offers excellent conditions for production facilities with secure energy supplies.
Qatar benefits from an outstanding logistical, financial and digital infrastructure combined with an open welcome culture. Within this framework, the underlying state strategy ‘Vision 2030’ offers the opportunity of shaping tomorrow’s future together with a key economy in the gulf region .
Manager of Investor Relations at Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar, Hamad Rashid Al Naimi, highlighted the Qatari economy in his presentation, the economic incentives offered by Qatar and the role of Investment Promotion Agency in Qatar. He said that Qatar is expected to remain strong and stable during the next year, while the GDP is expected to grow by 5% in 2021.
Abdulla Al Naimi, Investment Manager at Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), said that the establishment of QSTP 15 years ago was to provide an international place for researches, energy, environment, technology and education, and to play a key role in accelerating the pace of innovation and tech entrepreneurship.
The QSTP’s Product Development Fund (PDF) encourages local startups and SME in the private sector to develop products and services relevant to local market needs.
Fahad Al Kuwari, Markets Manager of Qatar Free Zone Authority, delivered a presentation on the free zone. He said that Qatar ranked highly across a range of global competitiveness metrics, proving a strong and reliable place to do business. The authority oversees many free zones including Ras Bufontas and Umm Alhoul. These zones offer distinguished services for local and foreign investors.