His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al-Thani, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and His Excellency Mr Ali Akbar Mehrabian, Minister of Energy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, chaired the eighth session of the Qatari-Iranian Joint Committee, taking place in Doha on June 5-6, 2022.
The meeting featured official talks and reviewed aspects of cooperation at the level of various sectors of common interest between the two nations.
At the beginning of his opening speech, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al-Thani, Minister of Commerce and Industry, stressed that the committee meeting comprised an additional building block on the track of the solid relations between the brotherly countries. In this regard, H.E. highlighted the advanced level of bilateral cooperation between the two sides following the historic visit of His Highness the Amir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, to Tehran last month, which came after the recent visit of His Excellency Mr Ibrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to Doha.
The changes the world is currently witnessing today urge both countries, more than ever before, to exert concerted efforts to expand bilateral economic, trade, and investment cooperation, so as to serve their common interests, H.E. said.
Combining efforts, H.E. further stated, stemmed from the strong and well-established relations between the two countries, which are positively reflected in the volume of trade exchange between Qatar and Iran, which has witnessed a growth of about 34% in 2021, H.E. explained.
On the investment level, H.E. stated that the Iranian private sector played a significant role in supporting the process of development and construction in Qatar. The number of Iranian companies operating in Qatar has reached some 811 companies that are active in several economic and vital fields, H.E. elaborated.
Moreover, the agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) that have been signed between the two sides have contributed to consolidating the bonds of trade and investment cooperation between them, H.E. said, pointing out that these agreements included the agreement to encourage and protect mutual investments, and the MoU on facilitating transport and transit traffic, signed between the governments of the State of Qatar, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Republic of Turkey.
H.E. underscored the significance of the results reached in the seventh session of the Qatari-Iranian Joint Committee, during which it was agreed to establish the Qatari-Iranian Business Council.
In this regard, H.E. expressed his confidence in the role that the Qatari-Iranian Business Council would play in developing intra-regional trade, facilitating the goods and services flow, and strengthening bridges of dialogue and communication between the Qatari and Iranian business sectors. These contributions would therefore pave the way for establishing more joint projects, by capitalising on the available opportunities, and the key aspects that distinguish the economies of both countries.
Speaking about the Qatari economy, H.E. said that Qatar was maintaining its efforts to enhance its economic openness and consolidate cooperation with all its trade partners around the world, given that trade is instilled as an inherent part of its ancient history.
Qatar is aware of the importance of sustainable and flexible supply chains and trade systems based on equality, equal opportunities, and mutual benefit, H.E. added, pointing out that these would support the State’s trade relations with all its sibling and friendly countries, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In a related context, H.E. invited the Iranian private sector to capitalise on the incentives, investment advantages, and the advanced business environment provided by Qatar to the local and foreign private sector. The said factors have contributed to consolidating Qatar’s strategic position as a logistical gateway and starting point for expansion towards the markets of the Middle East, East Asia, and Africa.
Qatar relies on a strong infrastructure that has been designed and built according to the highest international standards, including Qatari ports, Hamad International Airport, and the free and logistical zones, H.E. added in this regard.
These gains contributed to enhancing the strength and durability of the Qatari economy, H.E. further stated, adding that the Qatari economy was expected to grow by 4.9% in 2022.
At the conclusion of his speech, H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry expressed his aspiration to follow up on the outcomes of the Qatari-Iranian Joint Committee’s eighth session, and to build on the recommendations of the technical work team aimed at laying the foundations of a comprehensive strategic partnership, which derives its sustainability and success from the vision of both countries’ leaderships. Moreover, H.E. expressed his optimism for achieving additional positive outcomes during the Qatari-Iranian businessmen meeting.
During the session’s proceedings, the two sides discussed the progress made at the level of the recommendations of the Committee’s seventh session, in addition to touching on current projects and plans for expanding them, as well as means to overcome obstacles facing some projects. The Joint Committee also discussed a number of issues related to enhancing Qatari-Iranian cooperation in various fields, including trade, industry, free zones, health, education, chambers of commerce, and other fields of common interest.
The two sides agreed to take the necessary steps to move forward in consolidating trade, investment, and industrial cooperation between the two countries, with the aim to increase the volume of trade exchange between them, and facilitating the Qatari-Iranian flow of goods, services, and investments
At the conclusion of the eighth session of the Qatari-Iranian Joint Committee, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al-Thani, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and H.E. Mr Ali Akbar Mehrabian, Minister of Energy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, signed the meeting minutes.