HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Thani emphasised the depth and strength of trade and investment relations between the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Germany, noting in this regard that the volume of trade exchange between the State of Qatar and Germany grew by 79% to reach about $3bn over the past year. In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), the minister added that there are around 331 German companies working in the field of railway development, trade, contracting services, communications, roads and infrastructure, medical equipment and other vital fields in the Qatari market. He pointed to the commercial agreements and MoU signed between the two friendly countries, including the agreement to protect and encourage mutual investments, as well as the agreements signed in the fields of health, sports, media, archaeology, solar energy, culture, industry, trade, civil aviation and air transport. He referred to the agreement to establish the Qatari-German Joint Commission on Economic, Trade and Technical Co-operation, which held its sixth session in Berlin in 2019. Regarding Qatari investments in Germany, he explained that Germany is one of the most important investment destinations for the State of Qatar, as important investments were directed towards a group of German sectors, such as the automotive industry, telecommunications, hospitality, banking services and other important sectors. The relations between the two countries will witness wider horizons in the next period, especially in light of the momentum witnessed and documented by the high-level visits between Doha and Berlin, which will open wide doors for more cooperation between the two countries, especially in trade and economic fields. This will reflect positively on the trade and investment exchange and co-operation relations and partnership between the business sectors of the two countries. The authorities concerned with economic affairs estimated the size of Qatari investments in the Federal Republic of Germany at about €25bn, which included important sectors in the German economy such as the automobile sector, energy and micro-technologies. Qatar owns stakes in the most important German commercial and banking groups, as it is the largest shareholder in the Volkswagen Group, with a stake of $9bn, as well as in Siemens and other German companies working in the field of technology, shipping and the pharmaceutical industry. Business sectors in Qatar and Germany are counting on the return of economic activities to their usual vitality after the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to discuss new partnership and co-operation opportunities in promising fields, especially in the gas industry, as the German side expressed its desire to deepen cooperation with Qatar to diversify its sources of energy supply after the Russian-Ukrainian war. Germany is currently working on building 4 gas storage stations, which will assist in strengthening relations with Qatar.