The second Belt and Road Forum for International Co-operation kicked off Friday with the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and a number of leaders and representatives from 37 countries.
The forum will conclude Saturday.
Qatar's Minister of Transport and Communications HE Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti and the Minister of Commerce and Industry HE Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari are representing the State of Qatar at the forum.
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered the keynote speech at the forum. He said that a year ago, the first session of the forum was held, where participants outlined a map of co-operation on policy, trade, investment and communication between peoples.
He added that the current session looks forward to enhancing this co-operation, to create a better future.
He explained that the Belt and Road initiative came within the framework of enhancing co-operation between countries and addressing the risks they face.
He stressed that thanks to the joint efforts of all parties, a large number of co-operation projects have been implemented and launched smoothly.
He explained that 150 countries and organisations have signed co-operation agreements, in addition to harmonising development plans of the United Nations and a number of international organisations and regional associations to achieve the desired results.
The Chinese president noted the success of the initiative in expanding the global economy, providing new platforms, improving governance and providing opportunities for people to prosper.
Xi pointed out that the initiative is in line with the desire of the people to achieve a better future, stressing the importance of working diligently to push the initiative to progress towards high-quality development.
"We must work to achieve sustainable development at a high level. We urge companies to adhere to international principles and standards, to respect local regulations in implementing projects, to work and focus on eradicating poverty in order to achieve the most important objectives of the initiative," he said.
"The secret lies in the success of communication and interdependence. We must achieve this, and I am confident that as long as we have co-operation and understanding we will overcome all the difficulties and challenges we face," the Chinese president said.
Xi stressed China's adherence to the policy of reform, combating corruption and opening up to the world, welcoming foreign investments, achieving equal opportunities and eliminating legislation and laws that hinder the achievement of this goal, and allowing foreign investors to invest in wider fields, protecting intellectual property and enhancing international co-operation in this regard.
The forum seeks to enrich the principles of co-operation for the Belt and Road initiative, build a network of partnership, and establish more mechanisms for high-quality development.
During the forum, China will also present the results and actions taken to correct the mistakes, as well as its emphasis on seeking to share its economic growth gains, promote the Belt and Road initiative and bring more development opportunities to all countries.
The Chinese and Arab sides are natural partners in the construction of the Belt and Road.
Xi put forward the Sino-Arab partnership initiative to build the "Belt and Road" in his speech at the sixth session of the Ministerial Meeting of the Arab-China Cooperation Forum in 2014.
The two sides also signed the executive declaration of the Arab-Chinese partnership in the construction of the "Belt and Road".
The partnership in building the "Belt and Road" is a historic opportunity to change the pattern of traditional friendship and mutual co-operation between China and the Arab countries.
It also represents a work programme for the establishment of a Sino-Arab strategic partnership relation and as a China-Arab co-operation guide in achieving national renaissance.
The State of Qatar is one of the first countries to support and express its willingness to participate in the initiative. During the past period, both sides have endeavoured to consecrate the spirit of the Silk Road and to add new modern elements to it, Chinese Ambassador to Qatar said at a press conference in Doha.
China and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding on the partnership to build the "Belt and Road" during the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to China in 2014, opening the way for the rapid and comprehensive development of Sino-Qatari relations.
In January, HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani made a successful visit to China, during which His Highness and HE the Chinese President agreed to enhance cooperation between the two countries' development strategies and participate in the construction of the "Belt and Road." The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on the promotion of Sino-Qatari partnership in the initiative.
China and Qatar are closely involved in the interconnection of facilities.
Qatar Airways operates 49 direct flights a week to seven Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Hong Kong.
Two direct sea routes were also opened between Hamad Port and the ports of Shanghai and Guangzhou in China for the transport of goods and consumables.
There are about 200 Chinese or Chinese companies in Qatar.
These companies are engaged in the engineering, contracting, IT, trade and services sectors, some of which have participated in vital projects of Qatar National Vision 2030 and the 2022 World Cup.
Also, there are Qatari companies in the Chinese market.
The volume of trade exchange between the two countries has been increasing steadily in recent years, reaching in 2018 about USD 14.5 bn, registering a growth of 30 % compared to the previous year.
China is Qatar's third largest trading partner and second largest source of imports.
Qatar is China's second largest exporter of LNG, with Qatari gas covering nearly 30 % of China's needs.
In 2018, a new long-term contract was signed between PetroChina and Qatargas to supply China with LNG.
Qatar is also a founding member of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)— a new international financial institution that aims to meet infrastructure needs in Asia within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The two countries signed a currency exchange agreement worth 35 bn Chinese yuan in 2014 and was renewed in 2017.
In 2015, the first Chinese currency clearing center in the Middle East and North Africa was established in Qatar in an important step to serve trade and investment exchanges and facilitate financial transactions between the two countries.
Both the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Bank of China have opened branches in Doha and Qatar National Bank and Doha Bank have opened offices in China.
Investment cooperation is one of the most promising areas of China-Qatar cooperation.
Chinese companies are keen to invest in Qatar and China welcomes Qatari investment.
The cultural, humanitarian, tourism and educational exchanges between China and Qatar have witnessed great development, which has contributed to the promotion of friendship between the two peoples.
The 2016 Chinese Cultural Year, which included a wide range of exhibitions, exhibitions, and festivals, Cultural and humanitarian relations between the two countries.
The Qatar-China friendship association was established, an important step in the two sides' efforts to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two friendly countries.
The agreement on the mutual exemption of entry visas for citizens of the two countries entered into force at the end of last year, which is an indication of the high level of relations between the two countries and the desire of the two sides to continue to develop it.
in 2018, the number of Chinese tourists visited Qatar was 62,000 tourists, up by 38 %.