The Qatari Businessmen Association participates in the Qatari-Spanish Business Forum

18 May 2022 Madrid, Spain

QBA Members attended

  • Spanish Prime Minister: We are looking forward to make a significant increase in the Trade volume  
  • Sheikh Faisal: Qatar is ready for the World Cup, and the private sector is an investor in Spain
  • Sheikh Khaled: The Joint Business Council is working to increase mutual investments and trade exchange 
  • Maroto: Spanish companies have contributed to development projects in Qatar

Yesterday, the Qatari Business Association participated in the Qatari-Spanish business forum, on the sidelines of the official visit of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, to Madrid, 
The meeting was attended by the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Her Excellency Mrs. Reyes Maroto, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Spain, and several senior government entities in both countries. A high-level delegation attended from the Qatari Businessmen Association headed by Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani and his Deputy Sheikh Dr. Khalid bin Thani Al Thani, Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser Al Thani, board member, and from QBA members Sheikh Faisal bin Fahd Al Thani, Sheikh Muhammad bin Faisal Al Thani, Mr. Nabil Abu Issa, Mr. Abdul Salam Issa Abu Issa, Mr. Ibrahim Jaidah, Sheikh Turki bin Faisal Al Thani, Mr. Mohamed Altaf and Mrs. Sarah Abdullah, Deputy General Manager all attended.

Increase in trade exchange
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez revealed during the opening of the Qatari-Spanish Business Forum that the visit of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar to Spain, was a historic visit that resulted in the announcement of major investments to come, in addition to achieving a significant increase in the volume of trade exchange during the next stage. Expressing his happiness for the role played by the Joint Business Council in this regard, President Sanchez stressed out that Qatari investments in the Kingdom are important to the Spanish economy, as several agreements were signed, including an agreement with Qatar Investment Authority and its Spanish counterpart, pointing out at the same time the great role played by Spanish companies in Qatar in several fields, including building stadiums, infrastructure, energy, and environment in response to Qatar Vision 2030.
The Spanish Prime Minister also indicated that Qatar is open to the world and Spain can participate in that openness during the next stage by strengthening partnerships.
Mr. Sanchez noted the developments that the Spanish economy is experiencing, as he confirmed its gradual return to growth after the Corona pandemic and the major reforms taken by his government for economic recovery and therefore work is currently being done to develop investments, announcing strategic projects, including the electric car project worth 29 billion euros, and supporting electric power projects for car factories, without forgetting the issue of environmental parameters and investment in renewable energies.
For his part, His Excellency Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatari Businessmen Association, said the return of physical direct meetings after two years of the Corona pandemic is very important, and the Businessmen Association is proud of what our country has done while dealing with this global pandemic and preserve the health of citizens and residents, including bringing medical vaccines from Spain.
Sheikh Faisal added that despite the Corona pandemic, the Qatari Businessmen Association has worked during the last period with the Spanish side to strengthen the economic partnership between the two countries, and it had multiple meetings with Spanish officials, the most important of which was with His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and resulted in the establishment of the Joint Business Council, which includes prominent Investors, businessmen and major companies from the two countries. The council encouraged the private sector to invest in the fields of media, sports, health care, services and technology. A number of Spanish companies were also attracted to Qatar to work in a number of sectors of interest to Qatar Vision 2030, adding the association’s determination to continue fruitful cooperation and support the efforts of the two countries.
Sheikh Faisal stated that Qatar is fully prepared to organize the World Cup from now, and it is working hard to make the next edition of the World Cup an ideal one, especially as it is the first of its kind in the Arab world and the Middle East, welcoming the Spanish fans and the business community to cheer for the Spanish team and attend This unique event which will be the start of other global events hosted by Doha in the future.

investment cooperation
Sheikh Dr. Khaled bin Thani Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatari-Spanish Joint Business Council, in a similar speech, on behalf of the members of the Qatari Businessmen Association, expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to the governments of the two countries for organizing this economic event to get acquainted closely with the investment and trade successes that have been achieved between Doha and Madrid and the Partnership prospects that include all economic sectors.
Sheikh Khalid bin Thani, Deputy Chairman of the Qatari Businessmen Association, stressed out that the relations between the State of Qatar and Spain are well-established from before, as there is close cooperation between the two sides, especially in terms of investment and economic cooperation, expressing his pride in these multi-dimensional bilateral relations, especially that Qatar is one of the largest investors in Spain

The Spanish market
Sheikh Khaled said: "We know the Spanish market, as Spain is the third largest destination for foreign investment in Europe and the second in the world in tourism, as a result of the major reforms undertaken by the Spanish government. Employment costs in companies are 29 percent lower compared to the euro area, as well as labor and electricity costs. In addition, most factories are led by the private sector, which makes partnerships easier, and Spain's openness to Latin America gives additional impetus to investments.
Sheikh Khaled indicated that Qatar has diversified its investments in Spain in response to Qatar’s 2030 vision, which encourages investments in sports, tourism, clean energy, ports, real estate, media, health care, technology, stock exchange, retail sector, banks and aviation And other vital sectors that bring economic benefit to the two countries, noting that the official visits between the officials of the two countries during the recent period confirm the keenness of the two governments to develop these bilateral relations and upgrade them to become exemplary, and therefore there is a possibility to achieve a lot in this partnership and to strengthen it, within the framework of the economic recovery plan in Spain and heading towards an innovative and sustainable digital economy, where Qatari investments can have a role.
Sheikh Khaled indicated that his country, through hard work, has been able to achieve a great renaissance on all legislative and logistical fronts and in infrastructure, and is ready to receive Spanish investors due to the great investment incentives it provides to the foreign investor and due to its geographical proximity to large markets in the region.

Joint Business Council
Sheikh Khalid indicated that the formation of the Qatari-Spanish Joint Business Council includes an elite group of investors, major companies and serious businessmen, and its goal is to improve the role of the private sector in diversifying intra-regional investments in economic fields important for the two countries, in addition to expanding economic, technical and scientific cooperation, exchanging information and creating a healthy business environment that aims to Promote the development of commercial and industrial activities in both countries.
Partnership prospects
Qatar and Spain have combined broad prospects of cooperation for many years, in various economic and commercial fields, within different sectors between the two sides, such as diversified trade, real estate, investments, and others.
Ignacio Galan, head of the Joint Business Council, indicated from the Spanish side that there are strong relations between the State of Qatar and Spain, which include investments and clean energy, in addition to the intertwining in the hospitality sector and airlines.
Galan stresses the continuous cooperation in the relations between the two countries, pointing out that there is an effort to explore opportunities for investment and cooperation in various fields.
And he said, "We have signed agreements for gas, construction and others, and Iberdrola is the largest electricity company in Europe and is working on the transformation in the field of energy towards clean energies. 

Spanish projects
As for Her Excellency Mrs. Reyes Maroto, Minister of Commerce, Tourism, and Industry, she confirmed that the economic forum between the two countries and the historic visit of His Highness the Emir to Spain will further deepen the bilateral relations, considering that the relations between the two countries are strong and the trade exchange has increased significantly, and Qatar is the fifth producer of gas in the world. 
Minister Maroto referred to the Spanish private sector, as it participated in the construction of stadiums, metro, gas projects and major infrastructure in the water, energy, environment and civil buildings in the State of Qatar.
She said that the visit of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will contribute to activating several agreements between the two countries,

Memorandum of Understanding
The Qatari Businessmen Association signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federation of Businessmen in Spain with the aim of enhancing prospects for strategic cooperation between Qatar and Spain. It aims to promote the development of commercial and industrial activities in both countries.
"We view the Spanish market as a market full of economic opportunities in various sectors," said Sheikh Khalid bin Thani Al Thani, Deputy Chairman of the Qatari Businessmen Association, calling on Spanish investors to take advantage of the "promising opportunities and favorable environment offered by the Qatari economy, especially with the presence of free zones in Qatar." And to see more Spanish companies come to the Qatari market, wishing to work together to develop our partnerships and explore joint investment opportunities, whether in Qatar or Spain.”
Trade and investment
Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser Al Thani, a board member of the association, stressed the trade and investment sector is of great importance in the relations of the two countries, praising the depth and development of the Qatari-Spanish relations.
He pointed out that Qatar is the second largest shareholder in the Spanish stock market, as well as the launch of the Qatari-Spanish Joint Business Council as an important step to strengthen trade and investment relations, noting that Qatari investments are in the most famous companies in Spain such as hotels, real estate, hospitality, and others.
The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to about 1.16 billion euros in 2021, an increase of 46 percent from 2020, and bilateral trade will maintain its traditional upward trend.