China aims to attract Qatari investments for significant projects in Guangdong Province, bolstering their status as key trading partners and discussing four major initiatives during a recent economic event in Doha.
China is seeking Qatari investments for big-ticket projects in Guandong province, according to an economic event held on Monday in Doha.
Beijing has emerged as Doha’s “largest trading partner” as the past decade witnessed a rapid development of bilateral relations between the two nations, according to comments by Chen Yue, chargé d’affaires ad interim at the Chinese embassy in Doha.
Practical cooperation between the two countries has developed with the volume of trade exchange increasing to around $25bn, Chen said in a speech during the China (Guangdong)-Qatar (Doha) Economic & Trade Co-operation Forum.
China has become Qatar’s largest trading partner, the largest source of imports, and a destination for exports, Chen added.
Just this past month, China was the highest destination for exporting goods worth 6 billion riyals in value and the highest destination for importing goods worth 1.6 billion riyals, according to the monthly bulletin issued by the Planning and Statistics Authority.
At Monday’s event, Ji Lin, Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, highlighted four major upcoming projects between the two nations.
The first is the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. The second initiative focuses on cooperation in energy and chemical industries, especially the construction of high-quality projects in refining and petrochemicals. The third project includes strengthening mutual cooperation in emerging industries. And, the fourth is deepening cooperation in the financial sector.
Speaking at the event, QBA Chairman Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani said: “The forum represents an opportunity to discuss joint investment and trade in both countries, noting the will and desire of the leadership of the two countries.”
Sheikh Faisal also pointed out opportunities available for foreign investors in Qatar that include 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.
Yue noted China’s commitment to the Arab-Chinese strategic partnerships including the “Belt and Road” initiative that has risen to new levels, making China the most important among the trading partners of the Arab countries.
No end in sight
Earlier this month, the Qatari Prime Minster had affirmed that Qatar was balancing its relationships with both the United States and China, affirming that one link does not damage the other.
He dismissed another suggestion from the audience that growing Chinese defence sales to the Middle East could impact the region’s security ties with Washington.
Qatar had secured its second large gas supply deal with a Chinese state-controlled company in less than a year, last month. This was the second 27-year deal to supply China with LNG.