China Guangdong Qatar Economic and Trade cooperation forum discusses investment and trade opportunities between the two countries

11 Sep 2023 Marriott Marquis Hotel

QBA Members attended

With the attendance of more than 100 companies, organized by the Qatari Businessmen Association:
China (Guangdong) – Qatar Economic and Trade cooperation forum discusses investment and trade opportunities between the two countries

Sheikh Faisal: China is Qatar's first trading partner thanks to the will of the leadership of the two countries.

The Qatari Businessmen Association organized the China (Guangdong) – Qatar Economic and Trade cooperation forum in the presence of more than 60 Chinese companies from the Guangdong Industrial Province, representing various sectors and more than 70 local companies in addition to the members of the Qatari Businessmen Association.
H.E. Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, QBA Chairman said at the opening session that the forum represents an opportunity to discuss joint investment and trade in both countries, noting that China is considered one of the most important trading partners to the State of Qatar in recent years, and this is due to the will and desire of the leadership of the two countries.
During his speech, sheikh Faisal indicated that the volume of trade with China is about 97 billion Qatari riyals in 2022, as Qatar exported 75 billion to the Chinese market, and an amount of 22 billion riyals was imported, equivalent to 16 percent of Qatar's trade volume abroad, which confirms the growth of bilateral relations and the doubling of the trade volume during the last decade.

Strategic Partnership 
QBA Chairman pointed out that Qatar and Guangdong Province share many goals to attract investments and develop trade, calling on Chinese companies to exploit the great opportunities that Qatar offers to foreign investors by providing ready-made economic zones and tax concessions 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.
Concluding his speech, sheikh Faisal said “We, as a business community, welcome all potential partnerships with Chinese businessmen and Chinese companies in the different sectors, and here comes the role of the Qatari Businessmen Association in finding effective trade partners and investors in both countries.”

China is a reliable trading partner.
For his part, Mr. Chen Yue, the Charge’dáffaires ad interim of the People's Republic of China to the country, said: The past decade witnessed the rapid development of Qatari Chinese relations. Over the past ten years, bilateral relations have tackled a golden phase of significant development thanks to the strategic leadership of Qatar and China. He also stressed that the mutual political trust between the two countries deepened, both leaders met four times to lay the foundations for Qatari Chinese relations in the new era. He also confirmed that Practical cooperation between the two countries has developed as the volume of trade exchanges has increased to approaching $25 billion, and China has become Qatar's largest trading partner, the largest source of imports, and a destination for exports.
Mr. Yue pointed out that the Arab-Chinese strategic partnership relations have achieved continuous progress, as cooperation in the “Belt and Road” initiative has risen to new levels, making China the most important among the trading partners of the Arab countries.

Attractive business environment
Mr. Ma Hua, Director of Commerce in Guangdong Province, spoke about the constantly improving business environment in the province, including more than 300,000 foreign-invested companies.
Last year, Guangdong Province's total foreign trade value reached 8.31 trillion yuan (1.2 trillion US dollars), accounting for 19.8% of China's total, with the measure ranking first for the country for 37 consecutive years. It also represents a major part of China's foreign trade and is considered an industrial center that accounts for about one-tenth of the country's GDP and is the largest among all Chinese provinces. The province's gross domestic product last year was 12.9 trillion yuan (1.9 trillion US dollars).
He also said that Last year, the number of industrial clusters in the province rose to eight trillion yuan (147 billion US dollars), with 67,000 industrial enterprises and 69,000 high-tech enterprises, ranking first in China.

Free zones, foreign investor portal
For his part, Mr. Badr Al Madhadi, Investment Promotion Manager at the Free Zones Authority, spoke about the advantages of Qatar in attracting foreign investments, pointing out that the most important thing that distinguishes the free zones in Qatar is their strategic location, as they are located 30 minutes from the center of Doha, near Hamad International Airport and Hamad Sea Port, both winning international awards and represent the investor’s gateway to the world.

Qatar Financial Center: Speed of company establishment 
Ms. Abby Chan, QFC Vice President Business Development, also gave a presentation in which she spoke about the center's taking many measures aimed at making it a regional and global business platform that serves the development of the Qatari economy and supports its expansion at the regional and international levels.
Ms. Chan explained that the center aims to transform Doha into a leading global financial and commercial capital in the region. She also spoke about the legal incentives QFC offers, which allows 100 percent foreign ownership of companies and the establishment of companies in accordance with international standards and regulations, including the regulations of the IMF and other international organizations. She also pointed out that the tax system is distinguished and allows all necessary clarifications to be provided to investors, stressing that the center is capable of resolving any problem that may occur regarding companies’ work within 24 hours, which is a record time.
For her part, Ms. Chen Jiansha Director at the Guangzhou Municipal Commerce Bureau, said that Guangzhou Industrial City formed a link between international trade and investment alike. With the establishment of more than 1,700 foreign investment institutions, the United States, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea are among the top five sources of foreign investment, Which constitutes about 90% of the total foreign capital.
She also added during her presentation that the Global Unicorn Index 2023, which included in its list a total of 1,361 unicorn companies from all over the world, said that the Greater Bay area includes about 20% of all Chinese unicorn companies included in the classification, and that 22 unicorn companies is already located in Guangzhou. 
Ms. Chen invited the Qatari businessmen Association and the local companies to visit the Canton Fair next November, as the Fair in Guangzhou is considered one of the largest trade fairs in the world. It has been held in Guangzhou for more than 60 years, presenting many products, and most companies in China participate in it.