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Satyendra Pathak
The bilateral trade between Qatar and France grew more than 40 percent to $1.7 billion in 2018 from $1.2 billion in the previous year, Qatar Chamber Board Member Adel Abdul Rahman al Mannai said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a meeting between officials of Qatar Chamber and members of a French delegation in Doha, Mannai said that trade relations between Qatar and France have reached new heights in the past few years.
According to data provided by Qatar Chamber, Qatar’s exports to France more than doubled from $327.1 million in 2017 to $771.5 million in 2018, while Qatar’s imports from France increased to $972.2 million in 2018 from $928.7 million in the previous year.
Major Qatari imports from France during 2018 included tubes, pipes, padlocks, medical furniture, fruits, vegetables, generators, and electric machinery and others. Qatari exports to France in 2018 included polyethylene, cyclic hydrocarbons, hydrogen rare gases, polymers, petroleum oils, and others.
While there are several Qatari investments in various sectors of France such as energy, real estate, hotels, financial services, transport, communications and sports, Mannai said, many French companies have also invested in the Qatari market.
“Over 200 French companies are working in Qatar either with full ownership or with Qatari partners on key projects in oil and gas, electricity and water, transport, urban development, and other fields,” he said.
Highlighting the wide range of opportunities for cooperation between the two sides, he said the upcoming 2022 Fifa World Cup has opened doors for firms of both countries to cooperate in innovative projects.
French companies have the expertise and experience of organising this international tournament, he said adding that Qatar Chamber supports companies from both countries to forge trade and economic alliances.
The French trade delegation under the umbrella of Qatari-French Business Association (Qardan) was headed by its president Alexander Zibaunt.
Speaking on the occasion, Zibaunt said the visit of French delegation aimed at identifying opportunities for cooperation with the Qatari side.
Founded in 2015 in France, he said, Qardan has many founding members from Qatar like Qatar National Bank, Qatar Embassy in France, BEIN Sport and Qatar Airways.
He said the association includes 53 members from leading French companies and Qatari companies operating in France, stressing that it represents a platform for dialogue and a link between Qatari and French companies and businessmen.
The meeting was also attended by Qatar Chamber Board Member Khalid bin Klefeekh al Hajri, First Secretary of Qatar’s Embassy to France Huda al Jefairi and many businessmen from Qatar.
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