By Mudassir Raja
The Portuguese Business Council (PBC) and the Spanish Business Council (SBC) in Qatar organised their first-ever get-together on Wednesday evening at Nobu restaurant with an aim to mingle with each other and with expatriates from other countries in Doha. About 300 people attended the gathering.
Daniel Pereira, economic and commercial counsellor of Embassy of Portugal in Qatar, told Community, “The event was chaired by Carlos Bernardino, Chairman of the PBC, and by José Vicente, chairman of the SBC. Apart from the Portuguese and Spanish business communities in Qatar, business councils and different commercial offices from other countries in Doha were also present.”
“The exchange between the various companies and professionals present in the event shows one of the most important lines of work of the two business councils. It was an informal opportunity for business people to exchange their ideas and [discuss] businesses in Qatar,” Pereira said.
PBC head Bernardino said, “PBC is the first institution of the Portuguese community in Qatar and it aims at becoming a major player in business and cultural areas. We will try our best to show how Portuguese businesses and their citizens can help in the growth and prosperity of Qatar and also promote Portugal as a unique brand and a unique country to invest in. We are very pleased to have organised this get-together with our Spanish colleagues, with whom we have a special liaison for centuries.”
Pereira added that the PBC, with support of the Embassy of Portugal in Qatar, was established on June 20, 2016. Since then, hard work has been done in order to promote and raise new associates.
Sharing objectives of the PBC in Qatar, Pereira said, “The council wants to promote economic, trade and cultural relations between the two countries. It seeks to carry out activities in order to improve mutual understanding between the two countries. Another aim of the council is to represent commercial interests of Portuguese businesspeople in Qatar. The PBC also tries to promote Portuguese companies, their products and services in Qatar. The council also works to strengthen trade relationships between Portuguese companies and Qatari companies. Furthermore, the PBC aims at contributing to expansion of trade between the two countries.”
He said, “There are 10 major Portuguese companies that are active in Qatar in fields such as construction, architecture, interior design, facility management, and marketing.”
Talking to Community, Miguel Angel Fajardo, commercial attaché of the Embassy of Spain to Qatar, said, “It was really a nice get-together. It was an opportunity for informal chit-chat. The businesspersons got a chance to share information and ideas about what they could do together in Qatar. Such kind of gatherings will be made a permanent feature. It really helps in bringing business persons closer.”
SBC head Vicente said, “We are very proud to have been able to share this important event with the Portuguese Business Council and to bring together a diverse group of business professionals from different sectors and nationalities and, thanks to them all, develop a great forum for meeting in Doha.”
SBC Qatar was founded in 2009 by a group of representatives from different Spanish companies already established here.
It is a private non-profit organisation that aims at improving business relations between Spain and Qatar.
“The SBC has always been looking forward to open our business network of more than 70 companies to other councils and countries represented in Qatar. Since November 2016, we have been sharing business experience in our get-togethers with the American Chamber of Commerce, Turkey Business Association, Advantage Austria, Pacific Alliance, French Business Club and Portugal Business Council in Qatar,” Vicente said.
The SBC’s mains objectives are to support activity of member companies and new Spanish companies arriving in Qatar; to encourage mutual awareness and cultural co-operation; to promote Spanish commercial and business interests in Qatar; and encourage economic and commercial activities, investments and other initiatives between the two countries; to offer members a platform to exchange information and experiences to communicate and interact with public and private entities and persons in Qatar; and to promote events to reinforce and improve the image of Spain in Qatar.
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