Following a recent visit of a business delegation to Doha, the Canadian-Qatari Business Forum (CQBF) is looking to concretise and propel new investments between Qatar and Canada to foster robust economic ties and a knowledge-based economy, an official has said.
The delegation, led by CQBF vice-chairman Joe Armstrong, held productive meetings with government ministries, the Canadian Embassy in Doha, and private sector leaders, such as the Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) and Qatar Chamber, according to the forum’s executive director, Yasser Dhouib.
“The business delegation represented more than 20 Canadian companies that are eyeing the Qatari and GCC markets in sectors, such as cybersecurity, defence, logistics, clean energy, healthcare, medical supplies and equipment, bioinformatics, and the applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in health and software development,” Dhouib explained.
In a statement to Gulf Times, CQBF chairman Dr Bruce Mabley emphasised that bilateral relations between the two countries stem beyond commercial or economic exchanges.
“They are part of a whole in which the full breadth of a state-to-state relationship receives its just rewards. Specifically, political and social relations provide a vital context in which commercial exchanges can take place with confidence and dynamism. To focus solely on commercial exchanges cannot be the main goal of the mission. It can and should be one of the beneficial results of face-to-face meetings,” Mabley pointed out.
According to Mabley, there is a significant number of projects in the pipeline, citing the forum’s mission is to realise some of these projects “while new exchanges will provide an élan for the development of new projects for investment in Qatar and in Canada.”
“Most certainly, the majority of these projects, both those on the table and those to come will be related to the knowledge-based economy...the CQBF mission should assist in accomplishing these tasks.
“Individual meetings, higher visibility in the corridors of power and a healthy respect for the Arab world will all contribute to the success of the mission. The CQBF arrives in Qatar with an appropriate level of commercial leadership and I applaud the hard work of our CQBF organising team,” Mabley further explained.
Mabley said there is also a focus on ‘business-education’ initiatives like the International Faculty of the Future project. Similarly, other initiatives include investments in the film industry, as well as the Qatar-Canada Business Internship project, a training programme that Mabley has developed for Qatari diplomats.
“The Qatar course is designed to increase the knowledge of Canadians about the Gulf region and the Middle East. The Qatar course is an opportunity for leaders in the country to frame the region on their own terms. Young and educated Canadians desperately need to know more about Qatar and the region,” Mabley noted.
He added: “My values are close to those of my Arab brothers and sisters, a belief in family, freedom for all, democracy for all and not just a few, and a strong belief in people-to-people diplomacy. Diplomacy cannot remain stagnant or become a robotic and technical exchange of messages. What happens when the bilateral relationship comes under strain? Commercial links alone, no matter how developed they are, cannot flourish on their own.
“It is here that people-to-people links take over and provide the bedrock for mutual understanding, debate, and rational decision-making. The CQBF mission philosophy is just that – to create the conditions whereby the bilateral relationship does not just depend on bureaucrats and embassies.”
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