Doha, September 11 (QNA) – The Qatari-Chinese Business Forum kicked off with the participation of over 70 local companies and nearly 60 Chinese companies from the industrial province of Guangdong, specializing in various fields, to discuss investment opportunities in the two countries.
Chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani said in a speech that the forum represents an opportunity to discuss the shared investment and trade advantages between the two countries, stressing that China is an important trade partner for Qatar, thanks to the desire of the leaderships of the two countries to raise the level of economic cooperation to active partnership.
He explained that trade with China reached nearly 97 billion riyals in 2022, with Qatar exporting QR 75 billion to the Chinese market and importing QR 22 billion from it, or 16 percent of Qatar’s trade with the outside world, which confirms the growth of bilateral relations and the doubling of trade during the last decade.
He added that this great cooperation between the two countries opens up many opportunities for Qatari and Chinese businessmen to exploit the great potential that Qatar has, as well as the province of Guangdong, which occupies an important place on the map of world trade and economy.
HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani said that Qatar is aware of the economic importance of Guangdong Province, both domestically and internationally. He noted that Guangdong Province accounts for 20 percent of China’s total trade, which is why Qatar opened a consulate there to enhance commercial cooperation and explore investment opportunities.
The Chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry called on Chinese companies to take advantage of the great opportunities that Qatar offers to foreign investors by providing ready-made economic zones and tax exemptions that are among the best in the world, in addition to storage areas for re-export near Hamad Port, especially with the large market currently available in the region.
Sheikh Faisal stressed that Qatar is an important hub for travel and movement in the region, as Qatar Airways operates 49 direct flights per week to seven Chinese cities, and in addition, two direct sea lines have been opened from Hamad Port to the ports of Shanghai and Guangdong Province to transport goods and consumer goods.
He also said that the Qatari business community welcomes all possible partnerships with Chinese businesses and investors in a variety of fields. He said that the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry is ready to help find commercial partners and active investors in both countries.
For his part, Commercial Attache of the People’s Republic of China to the State Shen Yu said in a speech during the Qatari-Chinese Business Forum, that the past decade has witnessed the rapid development of Qatari-Chinese relations, noting that over the past ten years, bilateral relations have developed and moved to an important stage.
He stressed the keenness of the leaderships of the two countries to consolidate Qatari-Chinese relations and launch them towards wider horizons, pointing to the increase in the volume of trade exchange between the two countries to approach $25 billion, and China has become one of the largest commercial partners of the State of Qatar.
Shen Yu pointed out that the Arab-Chinese strategic partnership relations have achieved continuous progress, as cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative has reached new levels, in addition to establishing a set of strategic partnership relations between the two sides, making China the most important partner in trade for Arab countries.
In turn, Director of Trade in the Province of Guangdong Ma Hua, spoke about the constantly improving business environment in the province, including more than 300,000 foreign-invested companies, saying that last year, the total value of foreign trade for the Province of Guangdong was 8.31 trillion yuan (1.2 trillion US dollars), representing 19.8 percent of total trade in China.
He pointed out that the Province of Guangdong is a major economic force in China, and that it will enhance high-quality development in the current year by promoting new growth engines and promoting cooperation and communication in the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao, as well as deepening reform and opening up.
As for Badr Director of Investment Promotion at the Free Zones Authority Al Muzdadi he touched on the advantages that Qatar offers to attract foreign investment, pointing out that the most important feature of the free zones in Qatar is their strategic location, as they are located 30 minutes from the center of Doha, and they are also located near Hamad International Airport and Hamad Port, which have won international awards and represent the investor’s gateway to the world.