Several of the collaborations between Qatar and France are very significant and long term, impacting a number of important fields, highlighted the outgoing French ambassador in an interview with Gulf Times.
“Many major and big contracts have been signed in the last four years between the two countries. Many of these collaborations are on a long-term basis. Since they are long term, they are shaping a deep and long-term relation between both the countries,” said Eric Chevallier who will be completing his term of office and leaving the country by next weekend.
“The Rafale contract will be something very important for Qatar for decades. This has a very important role in the security of the country. The contract between Qatar Petroleum and Total is for 25 years, making Qatar and France work together in the energy sector. This is a major project and Qatar and France will be partnering in the energy security area for such a long term,” explained Chevallier.
“ French companies SNCF and RATP will be working for the next 20 years on the operation and maintenance of Doha Metro and the tram service in Lusail City as these companies are helping to look after a major public transport facility in Qatar. From a European perspective and with a significant French role, the partnership between Qatar Airways and Airbus has been consolidated and will go a long way in bolstering relationship between both the countries. These partnerships form a broader and long-term perspective,” said the French envoy.
According to him, the recent visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to France has paved way for two major collaborations, namely in food security and cyber security.
“We focus on issues that are important for Qatar and France on a daily basis. Food security is one major topic and we have signed a framework agreement which will go a long way. It can be between the ministries of agriculture or between companies working together. It could also be about training and developing new technologies. It is all related to development of agriculture and agro industries.
"Relationship between institutions and businesses as well as collaborations between universities including training and research are part of the agreement,” noted Chevallier.
As for the other agreement on cyber security, the envoy pointed out that it was extremely important.
“According to the agreement, Qatar University and Bretagne Sud University in Brittany will work together for enhancing cyber security. Bretagne Sud University is well known for having developed skills and expertise in cyber security. Both the universities will work together in several areas. As Qatar is diversifying its economy and developing the country into a knowledge-based economy, cyber security is an extremely important topic,” added the envoy.