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His Excellency Minister of Commerce and Industry underscores strength of Qatari- European Union relations

During his meeting with the EU ambassadors and representatives through visual conferencing technology

  • The EU is Qatar’s second trading partner
  • The total trade volume with EU countries during the first nine months of the current year amounted to around 7 Billion USD
  • The percentage of Qatar’s imports from the EU was about 23.2% during the first nine months of this year

His Excellency Mr. Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry, held a meeting with The EU ambassadors and representatives, through visual conferencing technology.

On the Qatari side, the meeting was attended by H.E. Salem bin Abdullah Al- Jaber, Director of the European Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as a number of Qatar’s representatives to the World Trade Organization (WTO), commercial attaches, and Ministry officials.

On the European side, the meeting was attended by H.E Dr. Claudius Fischbach, the German Ambassador to the state of Qatar, who participated in his capacity as the Representative of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the current period, and H.E. Ambassador Cristian Tudor, Head of EU Delegation (non-resident) to Qatar and Kuwait, as well as the EU ambassadors accredited to the state.

During the meeting, officials discussed strengthening friendly relations between Qatar and the EU and ways to open new horizons for cooperation in areas of common interest.

In his opening remarks, H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry praised the close relations between Qatar and EU countries, noting that despite the economic and commercial repercussions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, EU countries had been able to maintain their same position as last year as the second trading partner of Qatar, with a total trade volume during the first nine months of this year amounting to about 7 billion USD, equivalent to 12.3% of Qatar’s total trade globally. Moreover, the EU has been the second source of imports to the Qatar, as the percentage of imports from the EU amounted to about 23.2% during the same period.

His Excellency added that Qatar and the EU are linked by a significant number of commercial and economic agreements, as Qatar has signed 14 commercial, economic, and technical cooperation agreements, as well as 12 “Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Mutual Investments” agreements. Additionally, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry heads eight joint committees with a number of European countries.

H.E. said there are more than 50 thousand EU citizens living in Qatar, 95% of them are working in high skilled jobs. H.E. added that Qatar had appointed three commercial attaches in Geneva, London, and Paris as a first step, to be followed by appointing commercial attaches in other EU countries.

H.E. said Qatar invested 71.2 Billion USD in Europe as a whole, where 43% of these investments were invested in the EU countries at a total of around 31 Billion USD.

H.E. added that the number of European companies operating in Qatar currently stood at about 2129, of which 307 are fully owned by European citizens and 1822 owned jointly by Qatari and EU citizens.

 

Touching on the Qatari economy in the post-COVID era, H.E. said the year 2020 has seen major achievements for Qatar despite the significant challenges arising from the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, which has disrupted supply chains and normal business operations around the globe.

H.E. added that the State had adopted two-tier rapid measures that had been implemented: firstly, to support the private sector and maintain the integrity of the financial and banking markets and the Qatari riyal, and, secondly, to maintain the integrity of the State budget. H.E. referred in this regard to the measures adopted by Qatar to secure its economy, including declaring an economic stimulus package of 75 billion Qatari riyals to support the private sector.

Since the pandemic’s outbreak, Qatar has maintained its commitment to the multilateral trading system and strengthened international cooperation frameworks to ensure the continuity of trade as the engine for economic recovery, H.E. said, noting that Qatar has stepped up efforts to enhance its advanced logistical networks and capitalize on its high-quality infrastructure to consolidate its position as a regional and global trade and investment hub.

In the context of discussing issues related to the World Trade Organization (WTO), H.E. stated that Qatar shared EU countries’ vision on the importance of the multilateral trading system, especially the issues of the WTO’s Appellate Body, the Joint Statement on E-commerce, and the G-33 Initiative on Food Security.

 

Source: Minister of Commerce and Industry

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