As a country whose economy is mostly driven by its small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Germany could play a significant role in helping Qatar further develop its SME ecosystem, a top bank executive has said.
“Germany has always been a leader or one of the leading economies in the world. Interestingly, Germany has a strong SME sector in areas like manufacturing and robotics with world leadership position,” Commercial Bank CEO Joseph Abraham told Gulf Times on the sidelines of a recently-held forum in Berlin.
“And that’s where Qatar can tap into the expertise of Germany to collaborate and help build its own businesses. Qatar is building its own capabilities in the fields of self-sufficiency and technology, and I think there’s a lot of scope; and it’s at the SME level where there is a lot of scope beyond just the big companies,” he continued.
According to Abraham, banks in Qatar, including Commercial Bank, are working in partnership with Qatar Development Bank (QDB) to help support SMEs through QDB’s indirect loan facility programme called ‘Al Dhameen’.
“Because Germany has a strong SME focus, and since Qatar’s focus is to develop its SME sector, the banks are in partnership with QDB; we have the Al Dhameem Programme, so all that provides even greater focus for Qatar SMEs to tap into the German SMEs and enjoy mutually beneficial relations, supported by the Qatari investments into Germany,” said Abraham, who added that Commercial Bank has been active in facilitating trade and investments, with 12,000 SME clients under its wing.
At the ninth edition of the ‘Qatar-Germany Business and Investment Forum’ held in Berlin, Abraham said many German businessmen expressed keen interest to “tap into Qatar’s plans for the future.”
During the forum, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani announced that Qatar is planning to invest €10bn in Germany in the next five years.
Abraham said the announcement is a “very positive sign” of the strength of Qatar’s economy, and the strength of its reserves and the relationship between Qatar and Germany.
“It also shows the ability of Qatar to continue to follow its policy of making strategic investments outside – external investments for leveraging, and building on its strategic Qatar National Vision 2030 in key areas, whether it’s in education or technology,” he said.
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