Qatar on Thursday asserted that its co-operation with Russia is heading towards a promising future and called for more joint efforts, both at public and private sectors, to stimulate trade and investment and support their growth to reflect the huge economic capacities and capabilities.
"The current position is reassuring that the Qatari-Russian co-operation is headed towards a promising future, given the growth witnessed in the volume of trade exchange, which rose by about 47% over the past two years, to amount to $296mn in 2020 compared to $201.16mn in 2019," HE Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of Finance, told the 24th edition of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2021.
More joint efforts, at the levels of both public and private sectors, were needed to stimulate trade and investment between the two countries, he said, affirming Qatar's keenness in welcoming Russian private companies and investors.
The minister said the agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between the two countries over past years had also contributed to opening wider prospects for co-operation at all levels, especially at the industrial, commercial and investment fronts, as well as in terms of the economy, energy infrastructure and many other vital areas.
Stressing that it attaches great importance to supporting the economies of its various strategic partners worldwide, especially Russia; al-Kuwari said Qatar has sought to diversify its investments in Russia to include vital sectors to implement development projects in the areas of energy, petrochemical production, retail, the stock market and real estate.
He reaffirmed that Qatar is fully prepared to intensify its co-operation with the Russian side on matters raised at the World Trade Organisation, and to support the ongoing negotiations on the emerging issues.
"The most significant of these matters are e-commerce, investment facilitation mechanisms to serve development and the informal international action programme on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in light of the current global crisis," he said.
Qatar has established itself as one of the most stable, competitive and flourishing economies in the region, he said, highlighting that the World Bank confirmed in its latest report that Qatar's economy is likely to grow by about 3% and 4.1% in 2021 and 2022, respectively, despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Al-Kuwari said Qatar has given the private sector great attention with an aim to enhancing the competitiveness and diversification of the national economy. "Qatar has been keen to expedite the measures and procedures aimed at supporting the private sector by establishing incentive programmes to attract foreign direct investments," he said.