Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has sought to expedite the activation of the Iranian Commercial House in Qatar to take the trade between the two countries past the $1 billion mark.
He was addressing a meeting between a visiting Iranian delegation that had arrived in Doha to attend the sixth summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, and the Qatari Businessmen Association in Doha recently.
The meeting was attended by Qatar’s Minister of Commerce and Industry HE Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani and Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Seyed Reza Fatemi Amin, Head of Commercial Development Ali Reza Peyman Pak and Iranian-Qatari Joint Chamber of Commerce President Adnan Musa Pour.
The QBA side was headed by its Chairman Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani. QBA First Deputy to the Chairman Hussein Al Fardan and board members Sherida Al Kaabi, Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser and Saud Al Mana attended the meeting.
QBA members Nasser Al Haider, Khalid Al Mannai, Sheikh Muhammad bin Faisal Al Thani, Salah Al-Jaidah, Nabil Abu Issa, Ashraf Abu Issa, Maqbool Khalfan, Faisal Al Mana, Ramez Al Khayyat, Haider Mashhadi, Muhammad Alhtaf, Muhammad Al Rabban, Sheikh Jassim bin Faisal Al Thani and businessmen Ali Hassan Al Khalaf and Ahmed Al Khalaf, also attended the meeting besides QBA Deputy General Manager Sarah Abdullah. During the meeting, discussions on potential ways to develop economic relations and means to overcome various obstacles in order to develop trade exchange between the two countries took place.
Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohammed gave a welcoming speech in which he stressed that the meeting was the beginning of a series of meetings aimed at discussing joint projects and facing all challenges to the development of cooperation and investment between the two parties. His counterpart, Iranian trade minister Amin said the Iranian government was paying great attention to overcoming obstacles to enhancing trade and cooperation between Iran and Qatar.
Iranian envoy Dehghani affirmed the depth of the brotherly ties between the two countries.
QBA Chairman Sheikh Faisal praised the historical relations that unite the two countries, stressing the need to work on developing them. “We know the importance of the Iranian market, which is rich in opportunities. We wish to strengthen economic relations, and we look forward to more mutual visits between businessmen in the two countries under the leadership of His Highness the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.”
QBA First Deputy Hussein Al Fardan said investors in Qatar were looking forward to the Iranian president’s visit and hope to have an effective role in investing in the Iranian market, which is full of opportunities and capabilities in all economic sectors. “We also encourage and welcome Iranian investments in Doha,” he added.
In the meeting, QBA members and members of the Iranian delegation raised challenges affecting the increase of the bilateral trade exchange, while emphasizing the two parties’ ambitions for more investments in a variety of economic fields.
Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser, QBA Board member, highlighted the necessity of translating the distinguished relations between the two countries into a revitalization at the commercial level to reflect the depth of relations.
QBA member Sheikh Mohammed bin Faisal spoke about increasing cooperation between the two parties, especially in the field of intra-tourism, as the two countries have huge potentials that can be translated into reality, especially with the Iranian team’s nomination for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Saud Al Mana spoke about the great potentials of the two countries in the industrial field, with the availability of all aspects, especially logistics, with the presence of Hamad International Port, which is the largest in the region, and would support the increase of joint investments.
Salah Al Jaidah welcomed the Iranian president and the accompanying delegation, noting that this visit is historic and the first of its kind for an Arab country, which confirms the depth of relations between the two countries that must be translated at the economic level.
Nasser Al-Haider spoke about the commercial relations that must be developed and the importance of searching for joint projects that benefit both parties. QBA member Mohammad Althaf praised the role played by Iran in its support for Qatar in recent years, especially in the food security sector.
During the meeting businessman Ali Al-Khalaf presented all the problems they face in the ports, clearing export transactions, and called for alleviating and overcoming obstacles between the two countries.
Ashraf Abu Issa spoke of the need to develop economic cooperation to the retail sectors and other economic fields, because the current cooperation limited to the food field does not live up to the aspirations of the leadership of the two peoples.
Reactivating Iranian Commercial House
President Ebrahim Raisi concluded the meeting with a word thanking Qatar and His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. He also referred to the constructive talks that took place between the two parties, which he confirmed would contribute to the development of bilateral relations, and spoke of the necessity of activating relations with neighbouring countries, where there is a lot of untapped energies that must be strengthened and benefited from, whether in the areas of economic, tourism or cultural cooperation, stressing out the importance of The development of these relations now more than ever, and that the current cooperation is not sufficient and does not reflect the real capabilities of the two parties.
He also added, “With regard to businessmen and traders, there is a need to develop investment plans. We need to formulate these plans in various fields, whether in Qatar, Iran or neighbouring countries.”
He also referred to the importance of activating the Iranian Commercial House in Qatar to introduce the investment opportunities in Iran and to overcome obstacles facing businessmen. His Excellency the President also spoke about the importance of issuing the necessary licenses to save time for the businessmen, pointing to the fact that Minister Fetmi is taking care of this issue personally, adding during his speech the importance of raising exports between Qatar and Iran to reach one billion dollars and the trade exchange to the required level.
The President called on the two heads of the Qatari-Iranian Joint Committee, headed from the Iranian side by the Iranian Minister of Energy, to make more efforts to activate cooperation in order to achieve the desired results.
It should be noted that the volume of trade exchange between Qatar and Iran, according to the Planning and Statistics Authority, during the year 2021 is about 780 million riyals, which does not rise to the level of bilateral relations between both countries.