Qatar is fast-tracking efforts to open up its economy further as part of strategies to cement its position as an ideal destination for business and investment, from which French firms can take advantage, according to HE Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Acting Minister of Finance.
Doha has "sought to accelerate the implementation of initiatives and projects aimed at enhancing its economic openness and supporting its position as an ideal destination for business and investment", al-Kuwari said.
Qatar has made progress in this regard through drafting and issuing legislations such as the law regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital in economic activity, and the investment free zones law, both of which allow foreign investors ownership of up to 100%, he told a businessmen delegation from the Qatari-French Economic League (Cadran) and the international branch of the Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF), currently visiting the country.
The meeting was also attended by Sheikh Ali bin Jassim al-Thani, ambassador of Qatar to France.
The minister pointed out that the trade exchange between Qatar and France has played an important role in strengthening economic and trade relations, as the volume of bilateral trade amounted to $1.36bn in 2020.
The minister said the close and historical Qatari-French relations have contributed to deepening and strengthening friendship ties between the two sides.
The meeting featured a discussion of trade, industrial, and investment relations between the two countries, as well as ways to progress them, considering the close ties that bind the two friendly countries.
Terming France as one of Qatar’s most important strategic partners, al-Kuwari said the number of French companies operating in Qatar had reached 418, including 68 wholly-owned by the French side, 339 companies established in partnership with the Qatari side, eight entities licensed by the Qatar Financial Centre, and three representative offices of France.
He said Qatar has allowed real estate ownership to non-Qatari individuals and businesses in several vital economic and tourist areas in the country, the minister said.
The country had also issued a law to regulate public-private partnership in order to increase the contribution of private sector companies in building, financing, operating, and managing state development projects.
In this regard, al-Kuwari called on French companies to benefit from these legislations and to make more investments in the Qatari market.