HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari has urged Iraqi companies to set up industrial projects in various sectors in Qatar, particularly in food and pharmaceuticals.
Foreign companies, which serve the Iraqi market may establish industrial facilities in free zones in the country and export their products to the Iraqi market or expand into new regional markets, al-Kuwari said while chairing Qatar’s delegation to the first Qatari-Iraqi Businessmen Forum in Baghdad on Sunday.
Qatar and Iraq enjoyed close relations with a history of geographical and cultural ties, which reflected positively on the level of bilateral co-operation in various fields, particularly on the trade, economic and investment levels, the minister noted.
HE al-Kuwari addressing the first Qatari-Iraqi Businessmen Forum in Baghdad on Sunday
HE al-Kuwari with Iraqi dignitaries at the first Qatari-Iraqi Businessmen Forum in Baghdad on Sunday
Despite the regional geopolitical and economic uncertainties over the past years, Qatari-Iraqi bilateral trade increased from QR226mn in 2016 to QR472mn in 2018, the minister said, noting that the growth in bilateral trade reflects the keenness of both countries to establish “solid” trade and investment partnerships.
He stressed that Qatar and Iraq should capitalise on their potential and create an appropriate environment and clear frameworks to meet the developmental aspirations of both countries.
Touching on Iraqi investments in Qatar, he said there are some 268 companies, jointly owned by Qatari and Iraqi citizens, and four companies fully owned by Iraqi nationals, currently operating in Qatar.
The minister said he looks forward to intensifying the exchange of visits and meetings as well as the organisation of events such as the Qatari-Iraqi Businessmen Forum, which provides a key opportunity for networking and the discussion of future trade and investment co-operation mechanisms.
Qatar, the minister noted, has succeeded, thanks to its wise leadership, in “cementing its position as a leading investment destination” in the region despite the unjust blockade imposed on the country since 2017.
In this context, Qatar has sought to open its economy to the world by strengthening relations with its various trading partners, particularly Iraq, which is strategically positioned to contribute to regional economic growth and trade activities, al-Kuwari said.
The minister highlighted the advantages of Qatar’s business-friendly environment and state-of-the-art logistics infrastructure.
Al-Kuwari attended the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Qatar Polymer Industrial Company and Al Qawas Real Estate Investments Company.
He said the forum builds on the series of official visits and the ongoing efforts by Qatari and Iraqi businessmen and trade and investment delegations to lay the foundations of economic co-operation and promote innovative investment projects that serve the aspirations of both countries.
The forum, which brought together a large number of businessmen, investors and executives from major Qatari and Iraqi companies operating in various industries, featured bilateral meetings that focused on promising investment opportunities in both countries. Discussions also touched on the development of long-term economic co-operation mechanisms.
The first Qatari-Iraqi businessmen forum aims to enhance bilateral trade, investment and industrial co-operation and promote dialogue between representatives of the Qatari and Iraqi private sectors to lay the foundations for investment projects that serve the interests of the two countries.