The Ambassador of China to the State of Qatar, Li Chen, has said that Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping will hold talks and exchange views on strengthening China-Qatar strategic partnership and enhance effective cooperation in all fields during H H the Amir’s visit to China.
“Both leaders will also attend the signing ceremony of a number of agreements and protocols and on the sidelines of the visit the Qatar-China Business Forum will be held,” he said.
The Ambassador said that the visit shows the strong desire of the two leaderships to promote and deepen the strategic partnership between China and Qatar.
“Months ago, China and Qatar celebrated 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries but the relationship between both countries are historic and communication and friendship between the Chinese and Qatari people were established and inherited for more than a thousand years.”
In the economic field, the Ambassador said, the China-Qatar cooperation has made great achievements, where the volume of trade exchange between the two countries increased from $50m at the beginning of the establishment of the diplomatic relationship to $10.3bn in 2017, achieving growth of about 200 times.
“The volume of trade exchange between the two countries from January to November 2018 was $10.3bn, registering a growth rate of about 46 percent compared to the same period of 2017.
Currently, China is the third largest trading partner of Qatar, and Qatar considers the second largest exporter of LNG to China,” he noted during a meeting with reporters about H H the Amir’s visit to China.
Li Chen pointed out that there are about 200 Chinese or joint Chinese-Qatari companies operating in the engineering, contracting, IT, trade and services sectors some of which have participated in vital projects within the framework of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the 2022 World Cup projects. “At the same time, Qatari companies are entering the Chinese market.”
In the financial and investment fields, the Ambassador said, the two sides signed an exchange agreement worth 35bn yuan in 2014 which was renewed in 2017. He said that investment cooperation is one of the most promising areas of China-Qatar cooperation, and Chinese companies have a desire to invest in Qatar and China also welcomes Qatari investment.
About tourism sector, he said that Qatar Airways operates 49 direct flights every week to seven Chinese cities. “Also Qatar National Tourism Council is developing programs to attract Chinese tourists and has opened three representative offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.”
The Chinese envoy said that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Qatar in 2017 was 45,000 tourists, increased by 26 percent compared to 2016. “In 2018, it exceeded 62,000 Chinese tourists, up by 38 percent. The number of Qataris who have applied for China’s visas at the embassy was 2,600 in 2017 and more than 3,000 in 2018,” the Ambassador said.
He said that in the field of combating terrorism, Qatar is an active counter-terrorism country and was acting in cooperation with United Nations counter-terrorism organizations. “In 2017, the two countries signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of security and law enforcement.”