Qatar Chamber’s Chairman HE. Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani stressed the depth of Qatar-Belgium relations at all various economic and trade fields, noting that they are interested in boosting their economic ties and removing all impediments that might face establishing joint and mutual investments as well as providing more investment incentives and fostering cooperation ties among Qatari and Belgium businessmen for the advantage of both countries’ economies.
HE Sheikh Khalifa made the remarks as he gave a speech at the opening of the Qatari-Belgium economic forum held in the Belgium capital Brussel, with the aim of exploring ways to promote economic and trade relation, in addition to discussing and opening new horizons of communication between the private sectors in Qatar and Bulgaria to establish investment projects that serve the interests of both countries.
The forum was held in the context of the visit of HH. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, to the Kingdom of Belgium.
Sheikh Khalifa Qatar and Belgium enjoy strong relations and their trade volume reached $938 million last year, reflecting the robustness of economic relations between the two friendly countries.
Around 13 Qatari-Belgium companies and 12 companies with 100% Belgium capital are operating in Qatar in various sectors with total capital amounted to $ 170 million, he added.
He noted that Qatar hosted the Qatari-Belgium Economic Forum in 2015 in the frame of the visit of HH Princess Astrid’s, while the second edition of the forum was held in Brussel in 2016.
“We are honoured to be here again in this forum which affirms both countries’ interest in promoting trade and investment relations,” he pointed out.
Underlining the active role played by the private sector during the siege, he said that Qatar has successfully managed to overcome the unfair siege imposed by three Gulf countries since June 2017 and the Qatari private sector managed to find new alternative destinations to ensure the flow of goods and commodities into the Qatari market without any interruption.
New marine routes were inaugurated to link Hamad Port with many reginal and global ports.
In regard with the siege impacts, he noted that it has no impact on trade movements, affirming that Qatari LNG exports continued as usual without any delay or interruption.
Qatar’s 2018 budget boosts expenditure on major projects by allocating %46 of the total expenses amounted by $ 26bn on developing the infrastructure and for the preparations of the 2022 World Cup.
Expenses also included developing education, health and infrastructure in economic and logistics zones, SMEs and food security projects.
It involves the signing of new projects contracts worth a total of $ 8bn, which promotes growth in non-oil sectors and open the way for Belgium companies to participate in these mega projects, he added.