Ambassador’s Message
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Chairperson’s Message of the German Business Council Qatar

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Message of the Ambassador of the
Federal Republic of Germany

Anne Ruth Herkes

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my congratulation and best wishes to the German Business Council Qatar.

Germany ranks second among the countries that export to Qatar. However, German-Qatari trade relations are still pretty much in their infancy in terms of the potential they hold out for further growth. The volume of German exports to Qatar currently stands at around a billion euros annually. By contrast, the volume of German imports from Qatar amounts to less than 50 million euros a year.

The Qatari government forecast is for continued large-scale investments in infrastructures. Foreign direct investments in Qatar amounted to 30 billion dollars last year and are continuing to expand. Wise leadership and a profound sense of responsibility on the part of Qatar have led to sustained economic growth and prosperity. Its policies are farsighted and beneficial to business. Its people are motivated and provide what is arguably the best services sector in the region.

Thanks to substantive actions taken by our governments both our countries have managed to emerge from the global financial crisis ahead of their respective regions and continue to remain in the lead. The outlook for both countries is positive and their economies are now showing signs of rapid expansion. This at a time when there is such a critical need for investments and dynamism in the global economy.

The spirit of cooperation between our two countries is being strengthened by a steady flow of interpersonal exchanges, crowned this year by a state visit to Germany by Their Royal Highnesses. Their visit reciprocated previous visits to Qatar by Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Westerwelle.

The Qatari economy grew by 9.5 % in 2009 and the same growth rate is being predicted for 2010. Its balance-of-payments surplus remains the envy of the world. These facts signal tremendous opportunities for a country such as Germany, which excels in the export of manufactured goods at competitive prices. I am therefore pleased to note the presence of so many leading German companies here in Qatar.

Trade can only generate employment and prosperity when its rules are applied fairly and sensibly. We are confident that Qatar will remain open for German investors, apply the rule of law in bilateral business dealings, as well as ensure competitive bidding and transparency in contract-awarding procedures.

I would like to wish the German business community all the best for the coming year. To this I would add my feeling, which I am sure many of you share, that we have every reason to look ahead to the future with optimism.

Anne Ruth Herkes

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