Qatar wants to strengthen further its “strategic relations” with China in the economic, political, and commercial fields, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud has said.
He was speaking after inaugurating the second instalment of ‘Made in China’ at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC). The event will run until November 18.
The Deputy Prime Minister also underscored the role of the private sector in enhancing bilateral relations between Qatar and China through initiatives like ‘Made in China’.
“Qatar-China relation is very important […] both the Qatari and Chinese governments have decided to improve bilateral relations with the co-operation of the private sector, which is why the event was organised by Qatar Chamber and the China International Centre for Economic and Technical Exchanges,” al-Mahmoud said.
By staging the ‘Made in China’ exhibition, Qatar could tap into China’s “world-class” technological advancements, and brings both countries “closer” in terms of productivity and innovation, he said.
Al-Mahmoud also noted that Qatar is “open” for enhanced co-operation with China in the energy sector to balance trade volume between the two countries.
This was reiterated by Qatar Chamber Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani, who spoke during the ‘GCC-Chinese Economy Trade & Investment Meeting’ held on the sidelines of the exhibition.
He said: “GCC-China relations are considered the most prominent example in the China-Arab relations where the Gulf’s growing regional role has been met with China’s increasing need for a secure supply of energy.
“Indeed, GCC states mainly provide more than 50% of China’s energy needs, including petrochemical products and metal industries, which recently expanded in the GCC long-term plans and strategies for the advantage of the economic diversification policy.”
Sheikh Khalifa also underscored the role of the Renminbi (RMB) in trade and economic relations of China with Gulf countries.
“The ‘Made in China’ exhibition represents an ideal opportunity for raising awareness on the importance of using the yuan in investment and trade transactions, It, however, aims to promote quality Chinese products and contributes to the cementing economic and trade ties between China and the GCC,” he said.
He stressed that the 2015 launching of the Qatar Renminbi Centre (QRC) in Doha is an example of the Qatar-China strategic relations and strengthened cooperation “in all levels.”
The International and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is the clearing bank for the Chinese currency deals in Qatar.
"The ICBC handles all currency transactions of the centre that totaled approximately 419bn Chinese yuan since its inauguration in June 2015," he noted.
The RMB clearing centre, Sheikh Khalifa also said, “will increase financial connectivity between China and the Middle East and increase opportunity to expand and facilitate trade and investment between China, Qatar, and the region.”
Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of the exhibition, the Qatar Chamber chairman said ‘Made in Qatar’ will have a “big impact” on Qatar-China trade relations, adding that he is hopeful that more deals will be signed between Qatari companies and their Chinese counterparts.
He recalled the first edition of ‘Made in Qatar’ last year held last year yielded QR45mn in trade transactions.
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