Minister of Economy Praises Qatar-Germany Economic Relations

Doha, - HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani stressed the depth and strength of the economic relations between the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Germany.

In his speech at the opening of the Qatari-German Business Forum today, HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani said that the agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between the countries in several vital fields, have an important role in strengthening the bilateral trade relations, where trade volume between Qatar and Germany in 2015 amounted to about QR 9.5 billion.

Federal Republic of Germany is Qatar's 12th trade partner with over 2.4% of the country's foreign trade, HE the Minister said adding that Qatar's imports from Germany reached 7.5% of the total Qatari imports.

HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce stressed that holding the Qatari-German Business Forum comes amid major economic changes that push both countries to explore innovative ways to preserve the achievements and to meet the current and future challenges.

He called for activating joint partnership between the public and private sector and for removing the obstacles hindering the movement of capital to invest on non-oil sectors, in line with the economic diversification policy pursued by Qatar.

He expressed the State of Qatar's aspiration to promote investment in the sectors of renewable energy, information technology, digital applications in the field of smart e-government systems, transportation and communications.

He explained that German companies in Qatar are playing an important role in cementing the two countries' economic relations, pointing that there are 27 companies fully owned by Germans operating in Qatar with a total capital of QR 1.3 billion in addition to 112 companies in partnership with Qataris working with a total capital of Q R 1.1billion. These companies are operating in the fields of railway development, trading, contracting, services, communication, infrastructure and more, he added.

HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani stressed on the importance of putting more effort in improving economic ties and increasing investment between Qatar and Germany. His Excellency also highlighted the importance of prioritizing investment field that represent a qualitative addition to both economies.

HE the Minister noted that the quality that both economies enjoy should be a catalyst for advancing cooperation of the private sectors, enabling them to form successful strategic partnerships that suit the ambitions of the two countries.

His Excellency added that the State of Qatar issued legislations that enhanced the contribution of the private sector and provided an attractive investment environment. The new laws allow foreign investors to participate in all economic activities by owning 49% of the invested capital. The percentage can rise to 100% in a number of fields such as agriculture, industry, health, education and tourism among others.

The results of these legislations was that more than 60 countries contributed to direct foreign investment in Qatar in 2014. His Excellency said that such indicators reflected the trust that the Qatari economy enjoys as a safe haven for investments. This is due to the physical and legislative infrastructure that the country has, which help build strong economic relations with Qatar's partners around the world.

HE the Minister of Economy stressed his belief in the role of the private sector in achieving the goals of economic diversification, adding it was important to allow for active partnerships between Qatari businessmen and their German counterpart to play a role in developing economic and investment relations.

HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce attended the Qatari-German Business Forum along with Germany's Deputy Economy Minister Matthias Machnig and Chairman of the Qatari Businessmen Association HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani.

The forum included presentations from Qatar's Ministry of Economy and Commerce, Qatar Rail, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. All the presentations focused on the investment opportunities available in Qatar. It also reviewed Qatar's investment programme for World Cup 2022 and discussed the ways to deliver projects on time and the management of infrastructure. The presentations also displayed the cooperation opportunities available between Qatar and Germany. The forum also discussed the rail projects, which will play an important role in Qatari infrastructure once completed.

For his part, HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani expressed his delight that businessmen from Qatar and Germany meet to discuss cooperation. The Chairman of the Qatari Businessmen Association added that it was an important step towards a bigger partnership between the two countries, with Doha already an important destination for German investments.

The Chairman of the Qatari Businessmen Association also noted that trade volume increased 33.3% in the first half of 2016. It reached 1.44 billion Euros, equivalent to around QR 6 billion. HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani said he expected trade volume to exceed QR 10 billion by the end of the year.

Qatari-German Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation held its fifth session on 6-7 December in Doha, as part of the expansion and strengthening of the cooperation relations between the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Germany, and pursuant to the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a joint commission on trade, economic and technical cooperation signed between the two countries in the June 14, 2005 in Berlin.

HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani headed the Qatari side, while the German side was headed by Deputy Economy Minister Mathias Machnig The two sides reviewed bilateral cooperation relations in the fields of economy, trade and investments, praising the progress of these relations.

They agreed on taking necessary steeps to further development of economic relations and increasing the volume of trade exchange between the two countries, including facilitating the flow of goods, services and investments between the two sides.

The two sides reiterated importance to intensify and increase cooperation in activating signed agreements and memoranda of understanding.

The Fifth session of the Qatari-German Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation at the experts' level was held on Tuesday, where the two sides reviewed the cooperation relations in the fields of economy, trade, energy, industry, infrastructure, transportation, aviation, education, health, sports, culture, information technology and agriculture.

Source: Qatar News Agency