Mayor of Rotterdam to QNA: HH the Amir’s Visit to the Netherlands is Important to Enhance Cooperation, Qatar has an Attractive Investment Environment

Amsterdam, June 23 (QNA) – Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb affirmed that the visit of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to the Netherlands is a great opportunity to enhance bilateral cooperation, and it comes at the right time, as there are many global developments, and in the Middle East in particular, that are important to discuss.

Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), He said that this visit is important to strengthen bilateral relations, expressing hope that there will be more cooperation to diversify economic relations between the two countries.

He added that Qatar is a strategic partner for the Netherlands in the field of energy. Qatar is also a crucial mediator in various global conflicts, playing a significant role as a mediator in Western countries.

In this context, he explained that Qatar is the largest exporter of energy to the Netherlands and Europe, and the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands mainly hosts a significant amount of Qatari gas, making Qatar an extremely important strategic partner in the energy sector.

Regarding QatarEnergy’s signing of two long-term sale and purchase agreements in Oct. 2023 to supply up to 3.5 million tons per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Netherlands, he said that QatarEnergy plays an important role in relations not only with the Netherlands but also with Europe, as the energy they import from QatarEnergy is not only allocated for the Dutch market but also other European markets, adding that they have pipelines from Rotterdam to Germany.

On potential cooperation opportunities between the two countries, the Mayor of Rotterdam pointed out that the Netherlands possesses advanced technology in food production even under harsh conditions, pointing out that Qatar is moving towards further economic diversification, indicating that there are many areas of collaboration, such as the economy, culture, technology, knowledge development, building smart cities, and also in education.

Regarding imports from Qatar to his country, Aboutaleb revealed that they mainly consist of energy and LNG, expressing belief that it is important for the Netherlands to export food products, as well as machinery for industry and industrial activities.

Aboutaleb pointed out that the Netherlands does not have a free zone, because, in his opinion, the entire country functions as a free zone. He explained that if the municipality signs an agreement with a certain entity, it is considered binding, which fosters significant trust in the government and enhances companies’ confidence in the investment system. He added that he would never support the concept of a free zone because companies in free zones hardly pay taxes; they are exempt from paying taxes for five or 10 years, or maybe longer.

He added they have Shell, which invests in Qatar in the gas sector, as Qatar has an attractive investment environment.

At the conclusion of his interview with QNA, the Mayor of Rotterdam praised the progress made by Qatar, particularly after hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, describing it as “wonderful,” highlighting advancements in construction and architecture, as well as in culture and openness to the world, pointing out that Qatar has a story to tell the world. (QNA)