What does the Belt and Road Initiative mean for China-Qatar ties? What can be expected from the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Forum? How can cooperation between Qatar and China, especially Guangdong be strengthened in the future? Mr. Ali Ghanem A.F. Al-Hajri, Consul General of Qatar in Guangzhou, gave his answers in an exclusive interview with Newsgd.com.
Huge potential for cooperation between Guangdong and Qatar
Just outside Mr. Ali Ghanem A.F. Al-Hajri’s office window, on a high floor right in the heart of Zhujiang New Town, the city’s modern landscape, life and economic development is encapsulated in this cluster of high-rises and a steady stream of cars.
New technology and economy, along with modern life, are the very three terms Mr. Ali selected to describe Guangdong, a province he sees huge potential for Qatar to cooperate with.
Over the past two years, since the Consulate General of the State of Qatar in Guangzhou opened in late 2015, 63 trade and investment delegations from Guangdong have visited Doha and signed cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding with local government and enterprises.
Some Cantonese companies are also involved in the construction of facilities of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“There are promising opportunities available to Chinese, Guangdong (based) companies in Qatar in various fields, especially in infrastructure and advanced modern technology, including telecommunications, transportation, small and medium industries and many other fields.”
Though believing that enormous potential for cooperation between Qatar and Guangdong remains untapped, Mr. Ali also emphasized that the great competition in the Qatari market would be a challenge for those companies who want to invest in Qatar. But he also pointed out that both countries had done a lot to help overcome the challenge, such as the possibility of dealing in Chinese currency through the Renminbi clearing centre and visa-free policy.
“After the great successes of Chinese (Guangdong) companies in the projects implemented in Qatar, all companies’ opportunities have increased, and the confidence in these companies and in Chinese technology has increased,” Mr. Ali reaffirmed his belief in further cooperation with China, and in particular Guangdong.