Qatar is keen to enhance economic and trade ties with Greece, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Thursday.
Speaking at the opening of the Qatar-Greece Business Forum, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed Qatar's commitment to invest in Greece, expressing the hope that bilateral co-operation will grow in the future as Qatar continues to diversify its economy in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.
He said the meeting of the Qatari-Greek business representatives symbolises co-operation between the two countries, at a time when economic issues are the top priorities of both nations.
The two countries are seeking to strengthen the role of the private sector, he said.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said Qatar has taken all measures to provide the required legislative and institutional environment, developing co-operation between the public and private sectors, providing support to the private sector to increase its role in various economic sectors, and opening up opportunities for local and foreign investments.
He added that Qatar is keen to continue implementing major infrastructure projects in the main sectors such as education, health and transportation, in addition to projects related to hosting the World Cup 2022.
He urged the private sector in Greece to explore investment opportunities Qatar, which will contribute to enhancing economic co-operation and investments between the two countries.
Sheikh Mohamed said the business and investment environment in Qatar offers great advantages to foreign companies, indicating that Qatar enjoys an advanced position on the business environment indicators according to the World Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum.
Greek Foreign Minister Georgios Katrougalos said the historic ties between Greece and the Arab world are built on understanding and respect, but said trade volume with the countries, including with Qatar, does not reflect the level of political ties.
He called for enhancing bilateral relations between the private sectors of the two countries.
Katrougalos said there were many opportunities for co-operation between Qatar, which has become an economic leader in the Middle East, and Greece, which was able to overcome its economic crisis, reviewing the economic advantages of the country and its geographical location that can be a link between Europe, Asia and Africa.
The Greek minister said his country's economy depends in part on small and medium enterprises and the economic and social opportunities they provide, noting that the meeting of businessmen from Greece and Qatar at the Business Forum represents an important platform to explore opportunities for co-operation.
Chairman of Qatar Chamber HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani said that the two countries' private sectors are working on supporting economic ties, with 2018 trade volume standing at $84mn.
He said the private sector in Qatar is looking to identify investment opportunities in Greece and study the possibility of creating alliances and establishing joint ventures in the two countries, noting that there are about eight Greek companies and about 56 joint companies operating in Qatari in a variety of sectors such as trade, contracting, engineering, construction, industrial consultancy, decoration, shipping and marine services.
He also spoke about Qatari private sector's ability to overcome the unjust blockade imposed on the country since the mid-2017.
He said that the private sector was able to enhance its contribution to productive projects instead of relying on imports of goods from neighbouring countries.
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