PRETORIA, South Africa, Apr 13 (NNN-QNA) – Qatar Minister of Economy and Commerce, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani, reaffirmed the importance of strengthening investment relations between Qatar and South Africa, especially as both countries share a promising vision and great aspirations in providing stability and prosperity for their peoples.

This was stated in his opening remarks at the Qatar-South Africa Business Forum, held in Pretoria Wednesday, which coincided with the visit of the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, to South Africa.

The forum was attended by Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani, along with representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Industry, Qatari Diar company, Widam Food, Katara Hospitality, Qatar Development Bank and Qatar Ports Management Company.

Sheikh Ahmed stressed that, the two countries have great potential to increase cooperation in various fields, pointing out that the value of Qatar’s exports to South Africa reached about US$390 million in 2016, while the value of South African exports of goods to Qatar accounted for US$104 million.

He noted that the current levels of trade did not reflect the real potential for cooperation between the two countries, especially as Qatar’s share of South Africa’s total exports is only about one percent and Qatar’s share of imports of fuel, chemicals and plastics in South Africa is only two percent.

Touching on economic opportunities available to investors in Qatar, he pointed out that the country has many mega projects in several fields, including schools and hospitals, in the education and health sectors, new parks and resorts, electricity and water projects, waste management projects, transport infrastructure projects, food processing and agriculture and fisheries.

Sheikh Ahmed said, the economic agreements signed between the two sides could be used as a means to connect the economies of the two countries further, given the strength of these agreements and the goals they seek to achieve.

Qatar can be the gateway to the products of South Africa, in the common market of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, as well as, the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, he said, adding that, Qatari nationals can invest in competitive sectors in South Africa, particularly in the areas of tourism, precious stones and agribusiness.– NNN-QNA

Source: NAM News Network