Qatar offers huge potential as a partner country in the field of green technologies wherein German companies are technology leaders in this area, according to Dr Claudius Fischbach, Germany’s ambassador to Qatar.
Speaking at a virtual press conference hosted on Monday by the German embassy, Fischbach cited as an example the QR1.7bn Al-Kharsaah Large Scale Solar PV Power Plant, a first-of-its-kind project to be constructed in the Al-Kharsaah area of West Doha.
Similarly, Fischbach also noted that Qatar also provides “tremendous potential” for green and blue hydrogen production.
On the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on markets worldwide, the ambassador noted that the health crisis opened up opportunities for Qatar and Germany to build their economies “back in a better, more sustainable way.”
“We do need a ‘green recovery’ to achieve our objectives under the Paris Climate Accords and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Germany and the EU have earmarked huge sums to implement ‘green recovery’ projects as we believe that economic growth/business opportunities and climate protection do not constitute a contradiction in terms,” said Fischbach.
Aside from environmental protection and sustainability, Fischbach stressed that there is opportunity in the Covid-19 health crisis, which allows Qatar and Germany “to take a step back” and identify areas with a high potential for mutually-beneficial co-operation.
The ambassador said pharmaceuticals, artificial intelligence (AI), and Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, among other sectors, are areas in which Germany can offer technological edge over competitors and which can diversify the portfolio of traditional areas of bilateral trade between Qatar and Germany.
“Germany and Qatar have, indeed, very good and long-standing bilateral relations. Co-operation between companies of both the countries dates back decades in many cases. There is a solid foundation for future growth of the bilateral economic relations.
“This mutually beneficial co-operation has weathered many economic and political crises and I am, therefore, confident that together, Qatar and Germany will also be able to overcome the economic impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic,” said Fischbach.
Qatar-Germany bilateral trade increased from $2.1bn in 2018 to $2.3bn in 2019, according to figures provided by the German embassy. Fischbach said, “Despite the severe global economic downturn, bilateral trade is developing well. We might not achieve growth rates of 10% annually as in previous years.”
Fischbach also said Qatari and German companies were able to withstand the impact of Covid-19 and were resilient enough to adapt to the new normal, not only in terms of adjusting their operations to contain the spread of the virus but also in maintaining and strengthening their networks.
“During my first days in Qatar, I participated in webinars on business and investment opportunities, which have demonstrated continuous interest in our bilateral economic relations,” the ambassador said.
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