The official visit of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to the Federal Republic of Germany enjoys a special importance as it reflects the strong relations between the two friendly countries.
The visit comes amidst major events in the region that will certainly affect the global economy which is already suffering a decline in growth rates along with unprecedent inflation, continuous rise in interest rates and other developments caused by the halt in supply chains due to the Russia-Ukraine war, and most recently the dangerous escalation in the Middle East resulted by the Israeli war on Gaza Strip.
HH the Amir's visit to Berlin will enhance further the bilateral partnership and open broad horizons for further cooperation in various commercial and economic fields, which will reflect positively on the business sectors in the two countries.
Berlin is one of the largest trade partners of the State of Qatar. The two countries are linked by a number of economic agreements and memoranda of understanding in investment, industry, trade, civil aviation and air transport, supported by a joint committee for economic cooperation, which has held many sessions over the past years.
The Qatar-Germany joint economic committee has always supported the cooperation and strategic partnership between the two countries, expanding the circle of bilateral relations and strengthening them with long-term partnerships, as well as engaging the private sector to deepen the relations and employ bilateral investments for the benefit of the desired development.
Over the past ten years, Qatar and Germany have sought to increase the frequency of meetings at all levels, develop channels for exploring available opportunities in important vital sectors, and activate the role of the private sector.
The Qatar-Germany Business and Investment Forum, hosted in Berlin in 2018, constituted an important milestone in strengthening the economic cooperation between the two countries, especially at the level of the private sector, and the cooperation in the fields of energy, clean energy, and others.
Bilateral trade amounted to QR 6.8 billion in 2022. On the investment level, the Qatari market is considered attractive to German companies and there are many opportunities in various economic sectors, especially with regard to industries that rely on advanced technology.
More than 300 German companies are currently operating in various sectors in the Qatari market, such as trade, contracting, services, shipping, medical devices and equipment, etc. The German companies also took part in infrastructure and World Cup projects.
Likewise, Germany is a major destination for Qatari investments in Europe. The volume of the Qatari investments in Germany is nearly 25 billion euros in fields of automobile industry, communications, hospitality, banking, and other important sectors.
The State of Qatar owns shares in the most important commercial and banking groups in Germany. It is the largest shareholder in the giant Volkswagen Group for the automobile industry, as well as Siemens and other German companies working in the field of technology, shipping and the pharmaceutical industry.
Qatar owns a $9 billion share in Volkswagen Group which is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world and owns a full range of brands. In addition to passenger cars, Volkswagen also owns the heavy truck brands MAN and Scania, as well as Ducati motorcycles, which Audi owns through Lamborghini.
Qatar also owns a 21% stake in Siemens, an engineering, electronics and medical electrical device company. Siemens Energy enjoys 50 years of partnership with the State of Qatar. The two sides worked together on many major projects, such as new infrastructure projects in the country.
Qatar Investment Authority deals with many German companies with the aim of diversifying its investment portfolio, especially in new sectors. The Authoritys investments are not limited only to companies operating in the industrial and technology sectors, rather extended to the shipping sector by investing in Hapag-Lloyd, one of the largest shipping companies in the world, in 2016.
Qatar also owns a stake in HOCHTIEF, a German construction company based in Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia. It is the largest construction company in the country and operates on a global scale. The company occupies first place among the largest general construction companies in the United States through its subsidiary "Turner", and in Australia through its shares in CIMIC Group.
The cooperation between Qatar and Germany also includes the gas sector. QatarEnergy signed an agreement with ConocoPhillips to export LNG to Germany for a 15-year period, starting in 2026.
The agreement will provide Germany with 2 MTPA of LNG, from Qatars North Field East (NFE) and North Field South (NFS).
The development and integration in the economic relations between Qatar and Germany, their growth over the past years, and their expansion in several sectors, deeply reflects the strength of the Qatari-German relations, which paves the way for a greater cooperation and integration leading to the consolidation of the partnership that fulfills the development aspirations of both countries. (QNA)