France is ready to forge more partnerships with Qatar to help the country further develop its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector, ambassador Eric Chevallier has said.
Citing a memorandum of understanding signed last year between Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC) and Paris&Co, the economic development and innovation agency of Paris, Chevallier suggested that Qatar should also forge similar ties with other international agencies.
In November 2016, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and QBIC chairman Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa signed a document endorsing the MoU between QBIC, represented by its CEO, Aysha al-Mudahka, and Paris&Co, represented by its co-CEO, Karine Bidart.
The MoU allows both parties to exchange advice, support and connections, while offering select start-ups the opportunity to establish their business in Doha and Paris.
“We believe that Qatar also wants to develop its SME sector… by working together with Paris&Co through agencies like QBIC and Qatar Development Bank, there may be other partnerships that could be developed and new markets could be opened,” Chevallier told Gulf Times on the sidelines of a meeting between Qatari companies and their European Union counterparts at Qatar Chamber yesterday.
Describing the meeting as a “first of its kind” in Qatar, Chevallier said the event aims to show the dynamics between Qatar and the EU “because it is the leading market in the world with a 500mn consumer population.”
“The EU is also a melting pot of companies that are world leaders and by far, this is, at the EU level, the main market at the moment worldwide. It is important for Qatar to be connected to the EU as a leading market, and similarly, it is important for Europe to be connected to Qatar as a very prominent country in terms of development.”
“We fully-support Qatar’s determination to pursue the many infrastructure projects leading to Qatar National Vision 2030, including its will to develop the country’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector, as well as the diversification of the Qatari economy,” he explained.
Asked about the major areas of cooperation between Qatar and the EU, Chevallier said while there are major sectors for cooperation, the event is dedicated to SMEs and innovation sectors.
“But we also know that there are many in Qatar who would like to be part of an innovation dynamics so, innovation is a key goal and the development of SMEs is very important. We want to further develop our SMEs in Europe and know that Qatar authorities would like to do the same with its Qatari SMEs, and the best way to do this is to develop together,” he noted.
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