Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Says Qatar and Greece Ready to Enhance Economic Ties

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Says Qatar and Greece Ready to Enhance Economic Ties

Doha / Information Office / May 02

HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani the State of Qatar and the Hellenic Republic's commonalities represent a solid base to enhance economic and trade ties.

Speaking at the opening of the Qatar-Greece Business Forum, His Excellency stressed the State of Qatar's commitment to invest in Greece, expressing hope of enhancing bilateral cooperation in the future as Qatar continues with the bid to diversify its economy in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.

He pointed out that the meeting of the Qatari-Greek business represents a tributary of cooperation between the two countries, at a time when economic issues are the top priorities of the countries. In this sense, the countries seeking to strengthen the role of the private sector and call for foreign investment to contribute with its financial and technical potential in the national economy. He stressed that the State of Qatar has spared no effort in providing the required legislative and institutional environment, developing cooperation between the public and private sectors, providing support to the private sector to increase its role in various economic sectors, and opening up opportunities for local and foreign investments.

He added that Qatar, in the framework of its comprehensive development renaissance, is keen to continue implementing major infrastructure projects in the main sectors such as education, health and transportation, in addition to projects related to hosting the World Cup 2022. He called on the private sector of the Hellenic Republic to explore the many investment opportunities Qatar, which will contribute to enhancing economic cooperation and investments between the two countries during the next stage.

His Excellency said that the business and investment environment in the State of Qatar offers great advantages to the foreign companies operating in the country, indicating that Qatar enjoys an advanced position on the business environment indicators according to the World Competitiveness report of the World Economic Forum.

For his part, HE Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic Georgios Katrougalos said that the historic ties between Greece and the Arab World are built on understanding and respect, but maintained that the trade volume with the countries, including the state of Qatar, does not reflect the level of political ties. He called for enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries' private sector.

He pointed out that there are many opportunities for cooperation between the State of Qatar, which has become an economic leader in the Middle East, and Greece, which was able to overcome the economic crisis that faced, reviewing the economic advantages of the country and its geographical location that can link between Europe and Asia and Africa. 

HE the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs said that his country's economy depends in part on the activities of small and medium enterprises and the economic and social opportunities they provide, noting that the meeting of businessmen from Greece and Qatar at this forum represents an important platform to explore opportunities for cooperation between them. He noted that Greek companies have a strong presence in Qatar, but that they look forward to enhancing cooperation between the two sides by taking advantage of forums like today.

He said his country, which suffered the biggest economic crisis and lost more than 25 percent of its GDP, has returned to growth, albeit an anemic one.

For his part, Chairman of Qatar Chamber HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani said that the two countries' private sector is working on supporting economic ties, with 2018 trade volume standing at $84 million.

He pointed out that the private sector in Qatar is looking to identify the available investment opportunities in Greece and study the possibility of creating alliances and establishing joint ventures in the two countries, noting that there are about 8 Greek companies and about 56 joint companies operating in the Qatari market in a variety of sectors such as trade, contracting, engineering, construction, industrial consultancy, decoration, shipping and marine services.

He also discussed the Qatari private sector and its ability to overcome the unjust blockade imposed on the country since the mid-2017. He said that the private sector was able to enhance its contribution to productive projects instead of relying on imports of goods from neighboring countries. The competitiveness of the Qatari economy, which succeeded in overcoming the blockade and making Qatar an attractive destination for investments.