Qatar Chamber and the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry held Qatari-German Business Forum, through video conference, with the participation of HE Qatar Chamber Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed al-Thani and HE the President of the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peter Ramsauer, and HE the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Germany Mohammed bin Jaham al-Kuwari, and a number of officials from both sides, senior Qatari and German businessmen, and a large number of heads and representatives of Qatari and German companies.
During the forum, both the sides reviewed trade and investment co-operation and discussed establishing alliances and partnerships that will support both economies.
The Qatari-German business platform for the forum witnessed interaction by a number of Qatari and German companies, during which bilateral business meetings were held, as well as discussions were held between Qatari and German companies on the possibility of establishing commercial partnerships in the Qatari and German markets.
HE the Qatar Chamber Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed al-Thani delivered a speech at the opening of the forum's activities, during which he welcomed the participants from the Qatari and German sides, stressing the importance of the forum in reviewing ways to enhance joint co-operation relations between Qatari and German businessmen, and exploring new opportunities for co-operation between the private sectors of both the countries.
His Excellency praised the strong and close relations between the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Germany, especially in economic and commercial spheres, noting that the bilateral trade grew by 10%, from $2.1bn in 2018 to $2.3bn last year. "This means that Germany is a very essential trade partner for Qatar," he added.
His Excellency noted that the two countries' bilateral relations have evolved considerably following the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Germany in 2018, which witnessed the announcement to allocate investments of €10bn to support the German economy during the next five years and signing of many important agreements that contributed to further developing cooperation ties and stimulating investments between both the countries.
Regarding mutual investments, HE the Qatar Chamber Chairman said that there are about 300 German companies operating in Qatar, whether with Qatari partners or with full German capital, which are active in many fields such as rail, trade, contracting, services, communication, infrastructure, medical equipment and devices and others.
"Germany is one of the most important investment destinations for Qatar, where the value of Qatari investments in Germany exceeded €25bn in many sectors, including the automotive industry, telecommunications, hospitality, banking and other important sectors," His Excellency noted.
His Excellency pointed out that Qatar's economy offers plenty of investment opportunities that attract foreign investors and international companies, especially in the presence of a set of economic laws and legislations that provide a safe and stable environment for investment.
Participants of the Qatari-German Business Forum.
Elaborating on these laws, he said they include the law regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital in economic activity, which provides several investment incentives for non-Qatari investors, including the allocation of land, exemption from income tax, exemption from custom duties and freedom of transfer and other incentives, adding that Qatar enjoyed a highly developed infrastructure and state-of-the-art economic and free zones and offered a wide range of attractive incentives for foreign investors.
HE Qatar Chamber Chairman assured that the Chamber highly welcomes German companies willing to invest in Qatar and benefit from the investment incentives and available opportunities, pointing out that there is a significant room for German companies to participate in the projects pertaining to hosting the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
His Excellency also invited Qatari companies to identify the opportunities available in Germany and establish active partnerships and economic alliances with the German side in various sectors.
On his part, the President of the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peter Ramsauer said Qatar and Germany are linked with close relations in all fields, affirming that Qatar has managed to accomplish great development and is moving rapidly towards achieving the economic development.
He also noted that a large business delegation will be visiting Qatar to meet their Qatari counterparts and explore the Qatari market.
"Qatar has defeated the siege imposed on it since 2017. It has benefited much from that siege through reordering its economic priorities and achieving the self-sufficiency," he added.
Ramsauer paid tribute to the Qatari stimuli package and measures taken by the government during the current crisis to support the private sector.
On his part, HE Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Germany Mohammed bin Jaham al-Kuwari said that Germany and Qatar are bound by a close partnership that not only looks back on a long tradition but also covers a wide range of political, social and particularly economic areas, emphasising that Qatar is interested to further intensify the excellent relations with Germany.
His Excellency also said that the forum would contribute to further strengthening the outstanding co-operation and networks as well as attracting new entrepreneurial opportunities allowing us to face these global challenges ahead with strong economic, political and sustainable commitment.
"Qatar offers great possibilities and opportunities for German companies. Within this framework, the underlying state strategy 'Vision 2030' offers the opportunity of shaping tomorrows future together with a key economy in the gulf region," he added.
His Excellency said that hosting the FIFA World Cup 2020 would also offer enormous economic opportunities for German companies that are intended to contribute to these efforts.
In his statement during the froum, QC board member Dr Khalid bin Klefeekh al-Hajri said that Qatar and Germany enjoyed strong relations, and they are keen to develop such relations to higher levels and establish more alliances and partnerships that are of advantage to their economy.
During the forum, many presentations from both sides were delivered.
Manager of Investor Relations at Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar, Hamad Rashid al-Naimi highlighted during his presentation various positive aspects the Qatari economy, economic incentives offered by Qatar, and the role of Investment Promotion Agency in Qatar.
Al-Naimi also noted that Qatar offers a set of incentives to attract more investments such as a highly developed infrastructure, access to main markets as well as the possibility of full ownership for foreign investors and exemption from taxes, among others.
He said that the Qatari economy is expected to remain strong and stable during next year.
The investment manager at Qatar Science & Technology Park Abdulla al-Naimi said that the Park was established 15 years ago with the aim to provide an international place for researches, energy, environment, technology and education.
He pointed out that the QSTP's Product Development Fund (PDF) helps encourage local startups and SMEs in the private sector to develop products and services relevant to local market needs.
Markets Manger Qatar Free Zone Authority Fahad al-Kuwari, delivered a presentation on free zone, noting that Qatar ranked highly across a range of global competitiveness metrics, proving a strong and reliable place to do business.
He said the authority oversees many free zones including Ras Bufontas, and Umm Alhoul, noting that these zones offer distinguished services for local and foreign investors.
Al-Kuwari said that both Ras Bufontas and Umm Alhoul zones offer real estate solutions and industrial units, noting that Umm Alhoul offers 54 pre-built facilities dedicated to industries with various areas from 700sqm to 2,500sqm, while Ras Bufontas zone includes 24 pre-built facilities with diversified options for offices, warehousing and land plots.
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