Qatar-Greece Relations: Fruitful Cooperation, Promising Investments -1-

On May 2, 2019, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, who was the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs at that time, inaugurated the Qatar-Greece Business Forum. His Excellency stressed Qatars commitment to invest in Greece, whether by the government or the private sector, expressing hope of enhancing bilateral cooperation in the future as Qatar continues with the bid to diversify its economy in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.

In turn, HE QC Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani noted, during the forum’s sessions, that there are joint projects, 8 Greek companies, and around 56 Qatari-Greek companies operating in the Qatari market in several sectors, such as trading, contracting, engineering, industrial consultancies, cargo, marine services, and decoration. He pointed out that in the scope of air navigation, Qatar Airways added two destinations, in addition to Athens, which are Thessaloniki and the island of Mykonos, noting the activation of the visa
exemption agreement for holders of diplomatic and private passports, which has entered into force.

The developed relations between the two countries include an agreement between the governments of the State of Qatar and the Hellenic Republic regarding visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, service, or special passports, issued on May 2, 2019, and ratified by the State of Qatar on March 2, 2020.

The most recent Qatari participation in the Arab-Hellenic Economic Forum was on Oct. 27, 2022, through the Qatar Chamber under the chairmanship of First Vice President of Qatar Chamber Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Twar Al Kuwari.

In a statement, bin Twar said that trade between Qatar and Greece grew by 120 percent in 2021, reaching about QR 897 million, compared to QR 409 million in 2020, noting the convening of the second Gulf-Greek Business Forum within the forum’s activities to discuss investment relations, available opportunities, and the experience of both parties in the food industries sector.

In January 2017, f
ormer Greek Minister of Defense Panos Kammenos, made an official visit to Doha, accompanied by representatives of Greek defense industries, and held talks on defense cooperation between the two countries. Kammenos also made a new visit to Doha to participate in the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX).

Also in 2017, HE former Greek Minister of State for Foreign Affairs George Katrougalos met with HE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi in Doha in May and in Athens in November. In May 2017, Deputy Minister of Agricultural Development and Foodstuffs of the Hellenic Republic Vassilis Kokalis visited Doha and discussed with Qatari officials ways of bilateral cooperation in agriculture and food industries.

Greece, under the current Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has regained its strength and achieved a growth rate of 8.3 percent in 2021 and 5.9 percent in 2022. Mitsotakis succeeded in easing the burden of taxes imposed by the European rescue pla
n following the aftermath of COVID-19, which deprived Athens of tourism revenues, one of its main economic pillars.

Government statistics show that Greece has attracted increasing investments in recent years, with foreign direct investment reaching its highest level in 20 years in 2021, while total fixed capital formation increased by 12.7 percent during the first three months of 2023.

The government says it is working on building a floating unit to convert liquefied natural gas into its natural state off the coastal city of Alexandroupoli, with plans to build other units nearby. It is keen for Qatari investments interested in the energy and liquefied natural gas sector, providing them with opportunities to participate in major infrastructure projects, data storage and transportation, digital economy, renewable energy, tourism, and real estate.

Greece, located in southeastern Europe, has a population of approximately 10.75 million people, according to the 2019 census, and occupies a strategic location at t
he crossroads between Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is located on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula and has the longest coastline in the Mediterranean basin and 11th in the world, and includes a large number of islands, 227 of which are inhabited.

The capital, Athens, has a unique heritage and cultural value in Greece, reflecting the country’s rich historical legacy with 18 sites in the city listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is considered the cradle of Western civilization, and the first century AD saw the establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church, which shaped modern Greek identity. The modern state of Greece emerged in 1830 after the War of Independence.

Source: Qatar News Agency

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