Citing Qatar’s “important” role in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, Germany is looking to Qatar for the development of the Western European country’s LNG terminal.
This was announced in a speech by German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel at the opening of the Qatar-Germany Business and Investment Forum held on Friday in Berlin.
She noted that Germany’s business relations with Qatar “are not a one-way street” as Qatar also offers opportunities to German companies.
“German companies are unique – these are important preconditions for the further development of the infrastructure in Qatar. I think this offers enormous potential for further developing our relations as thus, the energy sector.
“Qatar, globally, is the most important exporter of LNG and the country plans to increase its production capacities in the coming years,” Merkel said.
Merkel noted that while Germany’s gas network is connected to supply sources like the Netherlands, Belgium, and Poland; the country is also working to strengthen and diversify its national network.
“But we are still focusing very much on further developing the infrastructure for LNG in Germany. A number of projects are in the pipeline to set up an import terminal in Germany.
“German companies have to base their purchasing decisions on economic criteria, thus liquid gas from Qatar comes into play,” Merkel stressed.
The German chancellor noted that LNG has “increased its importance in Qatar,” and contributes to the diversification of the supply sources “and thus, ensure supply security.”
The forum, according to Merkel, “is a distinct framework” for further revitalisation of the partnership between Qatar and Germany, and for further closer relationship, as well as for studying new joint ventures.
Merkel also welcomed the €10bn to be invested in Germany in the next five years as announced by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani during his speech at the forum.
She said Qatar will find competent partners in Germany and appropriate economic and regulatory conditions.
“There are many opportunities for strengthening and expanding economic relations between the two countries. We must exploit these opportunities, especially if we look at the tense situation in the Gulf region, which negatively affects the trade relations between the Gulf states,” she said.
Merkel also affirmed her country's support for all constructive efforts to settle the Gulf crisis, including the efforts of Kuwait.
“We need a strong security structure in the Gulf to depend on, to solve conflicts and avoid them in the future, and the current crisis has revealed the importance of a Gulf Co-operation Council capable of operating without restrictions as security and stability are indispensable foundations for economic prosperity, and Germany is interested in deepening economic co-operation with Qatar, which is reflected in the great resonance of this forum,” she said.
Merkel is pleased that Qatar is “increasingly interested” in investing in Germany, which she described as among “the most trusted investment destinations in the world.”
She added that Germany wants to maintain free financial areas and use it for sovereign investments in close co-operation between the private and public sectors, and Germany is pleased with Qatar's interest in investing in Germany, as it is growing significantly and Qatar will raise its investment in Germany.