DOHA: French Minister of State for Foreign Trade Matthias Fekl has announced that the public and private investments from Qatar in France have touched $22bn. France is currently the second biggest destination of Qatar’s global capital outflow, he said.
Addressing the Third Investment Majlis hosted by Qatar Businessmen Association (QBA) here yesterday, the French Minister said a total of 120 French companies are currently operating in Qatar. “Qatari investments from public and private sector are most welcome in France and I hope the current value of Qatari investments will go further up in future,” he said.
France is an extremely open economy and the country will remain so. More than 20,000 foreign companies are currently operating in France. “We have a diversified economy with strong high-tech sector and a very fast developing digital economy… Our government introduced bold reforms programmes in order to cope with the major challenges of French economy,” Fekl said.
Economic reforms in France are taking place with very positive results and the goals set by the French economy is already gaining momentum. With 85 million tourists visiting, France remains as the world’s one of the top tourism destinations. “Our goal is to welcome 100 million tourists by 2020. We are currently working with you (Qatar) and with the public funds to realise this dream. I encourage you (Qatar) to continue to invest in our economy,” he said.
France is famous for its high-ranking technology and innovations. The country can offer its expertise with Qatar’s emerging SME and startup sectors and develop partnership with Qatari companies. France would like to encourage the private sectors of two countries to work in that direction. The SMEs in both the countries can partner themselves and mutually help bolstering local economy of their respective countries, he said.
Earlier, addressing the event Sheikh Hamad bin Faisal Al Thani, QBA Board Member, said the event is aimed at introducing new business opportunities and strategies for attracting Foreign Investments.
QBA believes similar meetings will help further strengthening the bilateral economic ties between our countries. The support of the public sectors in the respective countries have paved the way for this cooperation. The mutual agreements and Memorandum of Understanding have contributed to the flow of Qatari investments to France,which currently stands at more than €20bn, also France comes in the fifth position among the exports to Qatar, where the volume of trade reached two billion euros in 2015.
Guided by its ambitious National Vision 2030, Qatar is currently in the process of diversifying its economy. The aim is to further strengthen its social and environmental sectors, and move forward. As the country is looking for the development of a stable non-hydrocarbon economy and the industrial sector being one of the main pillars of this goal, Qatar is looking at France as an important partner, he said.