Bilateral relations between Qatar and Russia are all set for a quantum leap as indicated by the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) which concluded on Saturday. Qatar was the guest country at the event which reflected the strength of Qatari-Russian Ties. Participating in a discussion via videoconference on Friday, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani pointed out that Qatar, one of the largest foreign investors in Russia, with diversified investments amounting to more than $13bn, is looking forward to doubling them in the future and expressed confidence in the Russian economy. Tourism between the two countries doubled during the Qatar-Russia Year of Culture and following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
As recalled by His Highness the Amir, in an excellent illustration of the warm and cordial bilateral ties, Russia had opened all its doors during the 2018 World Cup to Qatari organisers from the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy to exchange experiences with their Russian counterparts so as to augment the smooth conduct of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Earlier during the SPIEF, inaugurating the Qatari-Russian Business Dialogue along with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari noted that the agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between the two countries over the past years have contributed to opening wider prospects for bilateral co-operation at all levels, especially in the industrial, commercial, investment, economic, energy, infrastructure and other vital fields.
The current data gives confidence that Qatari-Russian co-operation is on the cusp of a promising future, given the growth witnessed in the volume of trade exchange, which rose by about 47% over the past two years to reach $296mn in 2020, compared to $201.16mn in 2019, the minister said. About 82 Russian companies are operating in Qatar and active in vital and diversified economic sectors. HE al-Kuwari called for more joint efforts at the public and private sector levels to bolster trade and investment, and stimulate their growth in a way that reflects the huge economic capabilities of the two countries. He stressed the commitment of Qatar to welcome Russian private sector companies and Russian investors, in order to contribute to the country’s march towards achieving its National Vision 2030 and benefit from promising investment opportunities in all sectors.
As pointed out by the minister, Qatar attaches great importance to supporting the economies of its various strategic partners around the world, especially the Russian Federation where Qatar sought to diversify its investments to include vital sectors. The goal is to enhance developmental projects in the fields of energy, petrochemicals, retail, financial markets, and real estate. Qatar is ready to enhance co-operation with the Russian side on the issues raised at the World Trade Organisation in a way that supports the ongoing negotiations on the new issues at hand. Al-Kuwari added that the most important of these issues were topics like e-commerce, implementing mechanisms to facilitate investment for development, and the informal international programme of work on supporting SMEs, and emerging markets in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic crisis. An immensely bright future awaits Qatar-Russia ties, undoubtedly.