Following French President Emmanuel Macron’s successful state visit here earlier this month, more business delegations from France are expected to arrive in Qatar in 2022, ambassador Jean-Baptiste Faivre has said.
These visits from France’s leading business organisations and major companies are part of the Western European nation’s objectives in enhancing and developing Qatar-France bilateral relations in a wide range of sectors.
During Macron’s visit here, the French president was accompanied by some 30 CEOs as part of France’s delegation in the trip, said Faivre.
He said in September, a delegation of French businesspersons also visited the country and held meetings with authorities in the public and private sectors. The delegation included Total chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanne, Movement of the Enterprises of France’s (Medef) Qatari-French Committee chairman Guillaume Pepy, representatives from the French Qardan Association, and a number of French company CEOs.
“Qatar has a very clear strategy, which is a very impressive one in many sectors. And it is clear that we will be with Qatar in its future development; the confidence between both countries is good in this area. I have no doubt that these delegations will come and will continue to come here,” Faivre told Gulf Times in a recent meeting with the media at his Doha residence.
Data provided by the French embassy in Doha reported that Qatar-France bilateral trade stood at €1.9bn in 2020. “This reflects the strength of the ties that unite us also appears in the economic field,” noted Faivre, who also said a large number of French and Qatari companies have established long-term partnerships.
“To date, 120 French companies and 90 franchises are established in Qatar (mainly large groups, but SMEs presence is increasing as well), whether in the oil and gas industry, in defence and aeronautics, in infrastructure and construction, in transport, in the environment, in finance, in the digital sector, in the hospitality industry or in distribution.
“Our two countries are resolutely looking to the future and wish to extend their cooperation to new areas, such as innovation, energy transition, and sustainable development. President Macron reaffirmed France's commitment to supporting Qatar’s 2030 vision, in particular on its energy transition strategy,” Faivre told reporters earlier.
Aside from economic ties between Qatar and France, Faivre stressed that among his top priorities is to keep both countries’ political links and confidence “at the highest level as possible,” citing “a very dense agenda” is in the pipeline, especially on regional issues.
“I think the regional issues are very important for France and Qatar, which are two countries that could play a positive role in the region. We are countries that want to resolve the issues; France and Qatar are not in favour of confrontation but are looking for ways how to resolve crises.
On the 2022 FIFA World Cup, he said: “We have a history of co-operating with Qatar in sport events like the 2006 Asian Games, which was held successfully in the country with the support of France. Since then, we had the confidence in co-operating in these kinds of events and I’m sure such will be the case with the World Cup,” he said.