Chinese cultural centre to open in Doha: envoy
September 19 2019 10:54 PM
Chinese ambassador Zhou Jian speaking in Doha on Thursday
Chinese ambassador Zhou Jian speaking in Doha on Thursday

By Ayman Adly/Staff Reporter

The Chinese embassy in Doha will open a new cultural centre by the end of this year, ambassador Zhou Jian has said. This was announced at a press conference on Thursday in connection with the 70th anniversary celebration of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

"This centre will further enhance culture exchange between Qatar and China, and introduce the various distinctive aspects of the Chinese culture to Qatar, including courses in the Chinese language, painting and traditional arts and music," he explained.

The Chinese embassy is also planning to open a Confucius Institute in collaboration with the entities concerned in Qatar. The institute is expected to offer various lectures and forums on various scientific and cultural fields, hosting Chinese professors and scientists to enhance Qatar-China education and research.

"Chinese tourists and business delegations will be coming to Doha in the near future to explore the country and share in its developments in various fields," the envoy said. He stressed that the business friendly environment of Qatar and the recent legislative reforms in addition to the visa-free entry, has encouraged many Chinese to visit Doha. Business people and companies are eager to grab the massive investment opportunities, which would be certainly beneficial for both countries.

"In February 2022, China will hold the 24th Winter Olympic Games. We can share our experiences of holding major sport events. With regard to tourism, we signed a co-operation agreement in 2017, and a mutual visa exemption agreement in 2018. Chinese tourists visiting Qatar reached 63,000 during 2018, increasing by 38% year-on-year. Qatar has gained wide-spread popularity on the Internet in China, and I am confident that there will be a large number of Chinese people choosing Qatar for their future travel plans," he said.

Recently, Shanghai Free-Trade Zone signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Qatar Free Zones Authority. The ambassador said that Qatar Free Zones Authority is full of great investment opportunities for Chinese companies and they are keen to explore this. Hamad Port has become an excellent destination for direct shipments of goods to and from the various Chinese harbours.

"Under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the Qatari people are working hard against the blockade and building a strong economy. I can feel their admiration and respect for His Highness. We are happy to see that Qatar has gained great development not only in industry but also in agriculture, achieving greater self-sufficiency, and is actively committing to National Vision 2030 achieving sustainable development and a high standard of living," stressed Zhou.

He pointed out that the Beijing Horticulture Expo was a great success, and the success of Qatar Pavilion was even greater. Until now, there have been 1.8mn visits and every visitor is attracted by the unique architectural design of Sidra trees holding up a "garden in the sky".

The Chinese envoy further stressed that "Qatar will host the Horticulture Expo in 2021. This will introduce to the world Qatar's unique history, culture, natural environment, and its sustainable development. We have high expectations of the upcoming expo, and we firmly believe that Qatar will make the Doha Expo a showcase of "desert oasis" to the entire world. "

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