QBA meeting with the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry

09 Jun 2020 Virtual meeting

QBA Members attended

The Qatari Businessmen Association held a Virtual meeting with the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce. From the Qatari side, the meeting was headed by Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatari Businessmen Association, with the presence of H.E. Mr. Mohamed Jeham Al-Kuwari, the Qatari ambassador to Germany. From the German side, the meeting was chaired by Dr. Volker Trier, CEO of Foreign Trade of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Mr. Philip Andre, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Region, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Hans-Udo Muzel, the German Ambassador to the State of Qatar and also Mrs. Kathrin Lemke, head of the German Industry and Commerce office in Qatar. The meeting came as part of QBA's efforts to communicate with international economic institutions around the world, in order to discuss potential cooperation opportunities during the current global crisis, benefit from the experiences of other countries and discuss proposed solutions to support companies and private sector institutions.

Also participated in the meeting from QBA, Dr. Sheikh Khaled bin Thani Al Thani, the second Deputy to the chairman, from QBA Board, Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser Al Thani and Mr. Saud bin Omar Al Mana attended the meeting. From QBA Members Mr. Omar Al Fardan, Mr. Khalid Al-Mannai,Mr. Nasser Sulaiman Haidar, Mr. Salah Al-Jaidah, Sheikh Faisal bin Fahd Al-Thani, Mr. Maqbool Habib Khalfan, Mr. Abdullah Al-Kubaisi, Mr. Ihsan Al-Khiyami, Mr. Muhammad Althaf, Mr. Ramiz Al-Khayyat, as well as Mrs. Sarah Abdullah, QBA Deputy General Manager

Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, started the meeting by thanking the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) for their participation in this meeting, which represents an affirmation of the strength of the Qatari-German relations, stressing the importance of cooperation between various economic entities and businessmen in light of the current crisis, that the global economy is going through, in order to overcome Its consequences and support the efforts of governments to restore the local and global economy
He said: "In light of this global crisis, such meetings would help in transferring experiences and expertise that may help all parties to overcome challenges better and faster, and we value the German experience and the measures taken by the country to contain the economic crisis resulting from the spread of the epidemic."

For his part, Dr. Volker Trier, DIHK CEO of Foreign Trade, stressed the importance of the collaboration between international economic institutions in light of these difficult circumstances the global economy is going through and  talked about the economic Stimulus package provided by the German government to support private sector companies and institutions, which amounted to 156 billion euros for 2020, and the plan includes direct grants to small companies and a fund to support the economic stability of large and medium companies.

Dr. Trier also gave an overview on the recent economic incentives announced by the German government last week, estimated at 130 billion euros, to be spent during the years 2020 and 2021 to support the German economy counter the impact of the Corona pandemic, within the framework of a comprehensive stimulus program designed to revive the economy and aims to boost consumption and reduce the existing recession. The plan includes a temporary reduction in value added tax, subsidies, and provision of customized assistance to support the private sector.

For his part, His Excellency Mohamed Jeham Al-Kuwari, the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Germany, expressed his happiness at QBA initiative to hold this meeting, which he believes would create better communication channels between the two countries in light of this global crisis, pointing out that the Qatari-German economic relations are solid and this was demonstrated during the Qatar Germany Business and Investment Forum in 2018 and the establishment of the Qatari German Joint Task Force for trade and investment on the sideline of the forum, which aims at supporting joint economic efforts in order to develop strategic cooperation between the two countries. Germany is also one of the most important trading partners for Qatar, and Qatar is considered as the largest Arab investor in Germany.

Also the German Ambassador to Qatar thanked QBA and DIHK for this meeting, which includes a number of representatives of major German companies in Qatar, and expressed the importance of continuous communication in light of this crisis, which represented a great burden on the economic sector throughout the world, stressing the importance of such meetings in contributing to the economic recovery. Mr. Hans emphasized the strength of the relations of the two countries at the leadership level, pointing out their support for economic and investment relations and the expansion of trade cooperation.

Dr. Sheikh Khalid Bin Thani Al Thani, QBA Second Deputy spoke about the financial and economic incentives that were announced by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, which amounted to 75 billion Qatari riyals to support the private sector. As well as allocating guarantees to local banks within the national guarantee program launched by Qatar Development Bank in the amount of 3 billion riyals. The program comes to ensure 100% financing by the government of the State of Qatar, with the aim of helping private companies affected by the difficulties of making short-term payments, including salaries and rental dues, in addition to the Public-Private Partnership Law, which is an important step to support the private sector and activate its role in building a strong national economy and contribute to the path of Qatar towards achieving its vision.

Sheikh Nawaf, QBA Board member and member of the JTF, also mentioned that the current Qatari German Joint task force is just a foundation and membership will be opened for others to join the force in a later stage, and that the team will be meeting soon, after which a series of specialized sectoral meetings will be held between companies and private sector institutions in both countries, to discuss cooperation opportunities in detail and study more the experience of the different companies in their field of specialization, these sectoral meetings would include sectors such as banks, food industries and pharmaceutical industries, under the supervision of the Joint Task Force

Mr. Salah Al-Jaidah, QBA Member and a member of the Qatari German joint task force for trade and investment, also stressed the distinguished relations between the two countries and which he believes became a strong evident during this crisis for the added value it returned on both Qatar and Germany. Mr. Al Jaidah also pointed out 2 main points, the first is, reactivating the work of the Qatari German joint task force (JTF), providing support to companies and work to overcome all obstacles facing German companies in Qatar and Qatari companies located in Germany and the second point is, searching for joint investment projects to take advantage of the available opportunities and the potential in both countries.

again, Dr. Volker Trier emphasized during the meeting that German companies are keen to be a strategic partner in the Qatari economic diversification program that aims to move to a knowledge-based economy by exchanging experiences in various sectors. “We are equally looking forward to welcoming Qatari investments in Germany. In the coming months, we will work closely to implement these goals as part of our long partnership with the Qatari Businessmen Association”
Mr. Philip Andre, DIHK Director of the Middle East and North Africa Region, pointed out the importance of inviting more members to the Qatari German Joint Task Force and called for specialized sectoral meetings between the two sides.

At the end of the meeting, Sheikh Faisal thanked the Qatari and German sides for this meeting, stressing the importance of follow-up and the formation of a joint German-Qatari team to search for investment opportunities in the two countries to recover from the stage of the global economic recession caused by the Corona virus pandemic, and his Excellency called on the German side to take advantage of the PPP law, among many other incentives Qatar provides to the foreign investor, in addition to the logistical elements such as the free zones, Hamad Port and Hamad International Airport, stressing Qatar's position as a leading investment destination in the region.
At the end of the meeting, all participants were happy with the efforts of QBA & DIHK to maintain effective communication, and the two parties agreed to hold a meeting of the Qatari German Joint Task Force soon.