The current number of Iranian companies actively operating in various vital economic fields in Qatar stands at 811.
Qatar has issued a permit for Iran to launch a major trade centre in Doha, Iranian Energy Minister Ali-Akbar Mehrabian said on Monday.
The head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organisation Alireza Peyman-Pak announced the establishment of an Iranian business centre in Qatar to further provide opportunities for the country’s traders, according to Tehran Times.
Peyman-Pak noted that transportation and banking relations are key points for the development of trade between the two nations.
On the same day, the Iranian delegation also met with Iranian businessmen and traders residing in Qatar and discussed various issues. In the meeting, Mehrabian announced the signing of a document in line of supporting private sectors of Iran and Qatar, with the aim of bolstering trade cooperation between the two sides.
“The level of relations with neighbouring countries has grown significantly since the current government has taken office in Iran,” Mehrabian said, while reiterating that the Qatari market is a fertile soil for the presence of Iranian businesspeople and traders.
“Iran’s trade relations with the neighbouring countries have increased by over 450 percent in the past nine months, and the figure is 900 percent for the past three months,” he explained.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the eighth meeting of the Iran-Qatar Joint Economic Committee was signed on Monday between Mehrabian and Sheikh Mohammad bin Hamad bin Qasim Al Thani as they both headed the joint commission in Doha.
The MoU covers the fields of energy, transit, transportation, industry and trade, customs and free zones, tourism, cultural heritage, agriculture and sports among others.
The Iranian energy minister also expressed his positive outlook on Iran-Qatar bilateral economic relations, saying: “During this day [Monday], eight very important memorandums of understanding on food, medical industry, knowledge-based companies, and so on have been signed between traders of the two countries, which indicates the existence of a suitable market for the two countries.”
Separately, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi met with his Iranian counterpart Ali-Akbar Mehrabian, where they discussed bilateral ties and cooperation in the field of energy and different methods of developing them.
Boosting of private sectors
Regarding the role of the private sectors of both countries in trade development, the two sides seek to provide a “special model” of public-private partnership in Qatar.
Later on Monday, Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Gholam-Hossein Shafeie met with Chairman of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani to explore various sectors of common grounds for cooperation.
During the meeting, the Qatari minister expressed satisfaction with the presence of the Iranian trade delegation in Qatar and noted that Qatar’s private sector is keen to form cooperation bases with its Iranian counterparts.
“In the field of trade, we will act on the basis of the political relations between the two countries which are very good,” Sheikh Khalifa Al Thani said, affirming Doha’s readiness to resolve the obstacles that Iranian businessmen may face in trade with Qatar, as per Tehran Times’ reports.
Shafeie also described the political relations between the two countries as very “positive” and added: “We should try to develop trade relations between the two countries in line with the political relations. The development of economic relations will also lead to the stability of political ties, and Iran is very enthusiastic in this regard.”
Iran-Qatar bilateral relations strengthen
During a meeting between Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani and Mehrabian on Monday, the Qatari minister expressed that the current geopolitical shifts are “pushing” the two countries “more than ever towards concerted efforts to expand economic, trade, and investment cooperation to serve their common interests based on their strong and well-established relations,” Qatar News Agency reported.
The level of trade exchange between Tehran and Doha witnessed a growth of about 34 percent in 2021, which is a testament to the robust developments the two have been experiencing.
As for investments, the Qatari minister further explained that the Iranian private sector leads an important role in backing the process of development and construction in Qatar, pointing out that the number of active Iranian companies operating in crucial economic fields within the country has reached to approximately 811.
Separately, Deputy Foreign Minister of Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari, noted on Monday that after the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Doha, new horizons have appeared with regards to increasing the trade volume between Tehran and the Arab nation.
Safari went on to say that more than 100 countries with which the Islamic Republic has trade relations with from the period between 2020 to 2021, five had a negative growth – one of which was Doha. However, he reiterated that the president’s visit to Qatar earlier this year raised the expectations of forming strong economic relations between the two sides.
During President Raisi’s visit to Qatar in late February, the two nations witnessed the signing of a total of 14 different agreements and covered different sectors of cooperation. These include trade, sea and air transportation, visa cancellation, standard, electricity, culture and education.
“When economic relations are established between the two countries, political and security relations are stable. If economic relations are weak, political and security relations are torn apart by a breeze,” Safari said, as quoted by Tehran Times.
The Iranian Envoy to Doha Hamidreza Dehghani Poudeh, expressed that the country’s foreign ministry will aid in facilitating the business connections between the two Gulf nations.
The Iranian ambassador noted that in this contemporary time, the Iranian merchants are the true representatives of the Islamic Republic in Qatar.