The QR212bn funds allocated in the Qatar 2019 budget for infrastructure projects would play a significant role in enhancing the partnership between Qatar and Kuwait, one of the state’s staunch allies amid the ongoing economic blockade, according to a Qatar Chamber official.
The statement was raised in a meeting on Tuesday at Qatar Chamber, which hosted a trade and industry delegation from Kuwait. The meeting, which was presided over by Qatar Chamber first vice chairman Mohamed bin Towar al-Kuwari, received a delegation led by the director general of Kuwait's Public Authority for Industry (PAI), Abdulkarim Taqi Abdulkarim.
According to Qatar Chamber board member Ali bin Abdullatif al-Misnad, the country’s budget for 2019 allocated QR212bn for infrastructure projects. He said, “This would pave the way for more partnerships and cooperation between both parties.”
He stressed that Qatar has implemented various legislative reforms and laws to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the country, including the recently-issued Free Zones Law.
Al-Misnad also suggested the setting up of a joint business council to help ease procedures and enhance communication and cooperation between businessmen from both countries. He also proposed for the establishment of a representative office for the PAI at Qatar Chamber to link manufacturing companies in Qatar and Kuwait.
During the meeting, al-Kuwari said Qatar Chamber recorded a 34% growth in the number of Kuwaiti-Qatari companies operating in the country. From 393 companies in 2017, the number of joint companies increased to 526 by the end of 2018, said al-Kuwari.
Al-Kuwari said Qatar-Kuwait trade exchange in the first nine months of 2018 stood at nearly QR2.8bn, a 12% increase compared to figures recorded in 2017. This, al-Kuwari said, reflects the growth in bilateral trade due to “great convergence” of both countries’ business sectors.
“There is a strong wish from both sides to push relations to higher levels. The Qatar-Kuwait Business Forum held in Kuwait contributed to expanding cooperation ties between both countries’ business sectors, and helped set up more joint ventures that will accordingly increase trade,” al-Kuwari said.
Describing the industrial sector as “the safety valve in any developed economy,” Abdulkarim said industry could help enhance cooperation between Qatar and Kuwait. He also lauded efforts of Qatari businessmen to build bridges of cooperation with their counterparts in Kuwait, including the intention to set up joint companies and factories.
Al-Kuwari also lauded the Kuwaiti private sector for its efforts to help Qatar overcome the impact of the economic blockade imposed against the country on June 5, 2017. He said Kuwaiti companies supported the Qatari market with various products and commodities immediately after the blockade, adding stability to the local market.
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