Swiss Business Council Qatar (SwissBCQ) has awarded four persons – two from Qatar and two Swiss expatriates working here – for their achievements in promoting bilateral ties. The council’s annual award ceremony was held recently at Marsa Malaz Kempinski.
The SwissBCQ Excellence Award, under the patronage of the Swiss ambassador, is given to companies, individuals or institutions in recognition for their contributions to enhancing co-operation and business relations between Qatar and Switzerland and promoting Swiss products and services in Qatar.
The SwissBCQ is a non-profit organisation licenced by the Qatar Finance Centre Authority (QFCA). The aim of the council is to support Swiss companies and Swiss professionals in Qatar with a platform and a network of mutual interest among each other.
Etienne Thevoz, Swiss ambassador to Qatar, handed over the trophies to the awardees of SwissBCQ 2017.
Minister of Transport HE Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti and Katara Hospitality CEO Hamad Abdulla al-Mulla were bestowed upon with Lifetime Achievement Award 2017. Chris K Franzen, General Manager of Grand Hyatt Doha, and Dr Anna Grichting Solder, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Qatar University, were given Excellence Award 2017.
Before the award ceremony, the council served more than 100 guests – mainly from the Swiss expatriate community in Qatar – with a delicious dinner and entertained them with a live musical performance by a violinist.
In his welcome speech, Dr Fariborz Samadian, founding president of the SwissBCQ, said, “The SwissBCQ was established on April 2, 2015 and since that time we have organised over 30 business and cultural events in Qatar. We hosted mix business and cultural events with other business councils such as German, Austrian and Belgian.
“This year we would like to work with [even more] business organisations such as Qatari Business Women Association. We will surely be delighted to have joint events.”
The SwissBCQ president said, “Our council consists of active membership ranging from Swiss multinationals as well as individual private members. To qualify for membership, companies and individuals should be able to demonstrate a clear business or cultural focus and interaction with Switzerland – either as a Swiss national, a Swiss registered organisation, or a local representative, agent or distributor of Swiss goods and services.”
He added, “Swiss industry and products have always been famous for having the best quality. Therefore, what I always say, the three important messages are quality, quality and quality – this is the base of any product made in Switzerland. This type of voice (about quality) is being achieved through manufacturers, representatives and business people in every market.
“We feel this type of work should be appreciated in the best possible way. Our Executive Committee members, under the patronage of the Swiss ambassador, decided to prepare this event to appreciate those hard workers who are making a stronger relation between Switzerland and Qatar.”
Dr Samadian said, “This year we are awarding lifetime achievement as well as two excellence awards to two Qatari personalities and to two Swiss people for their contributions to the bilateral ties between Switzerland and Qatar in the economic, cultural, commercial, educational and political sectors.
Talking to Community, Chris K Franzen – one of the award recipients – said, “I am very proud of being appreciated and recognised. It was the nicest surprise for me when I learnt that I would receive the award. It is very great to be among people of such high calibre.
“I have been living in Qatar for five years. I have been associated with the [Grand Hyatt] in GCC for 19 years. Qatar is now our second home. I do not plan to leave the country in the near future. It is high time for us to serve our host country. I love living in Qatar because there is always a balance between work and life here.”
Sharing her views with Community, Dr Anna Grichting Solder – the second Swiss award recipient – said, “I am thrilled and happy. I have been living in Qatar for seven years and have been enjoying my life here. I have done many projects promoting cultures of the two countries here.”
She added, “The best thing that I like about Qatar is its female leadership. I am amazed to see how young Qatari women are getting empowered. Qatar is going to make its mark.”
RECOGNITION: From left, Christoph Franzen, Ambassador Etienne Thevoz, Hamad Abdulla al-Mulla, Dr Anna Grichting, and Dr Fariborz Samadian.