25 Jan 2018 - 14:37
2017 was exceptional for Qatar despite difficulties: Qatar's ambassador to Spain
Madrid: Qatar Ambassador to Spain Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari underlined that the year 2017 was an exceptional year for Qatar in various fields despite the difficulties.
The ambassador said that the siege imposed on Qatar by some of its neighbors is "illegal" and "inhumane", describing the accusations against Qatar as completely unfounded and irrelevant to reality.
He was speaking in a seminar titled "Challenges and Opportunities" for the Qatari economy, organized by the civil forum of the Province of Valencia in Castellon city, in the presence of large number of businessmen and people interested.
The ambassador said that Qatar has become one of the most promising economies that has created a unique educational, cultural, sports and media model in the region, adding that the siege countries aimed at isolating Qatar and preventing access to many basic foodstuffs and medicines, but did not expect a quick and effective response from the Qatari government, which was able, in less than a week, to overcome the potential negative effects of the siege, and find alternative ways of import and trade.
He stressed that all this was not possible without the support of many friendly countries that demonstrated solidarity and friendship with Qatar, highlighting Spain as a clear example.
He revealed some economic data that confirm these facts and noted that Qatar's GDP grew by 1.9% in the third quarter of 2017. He underlined that the Qatari government has made great efforts to provide incentives and exemptions that encourage entrepreneurship and the establishment of industrial projects and that the successful decisions of the Qatari government's contributed to enhancing the country's economy.
He noted that Qatar's gas exports have not stopped at any time despite the current situation, and despite the fact that the country's gas and oil potential has greatly contributed to reach the current situation, the State of Qatar is keen on diversifying its economy.
The ambassador believed that 2018 will witness an unprecedented development in the economic sector. He pointed out that Qatar's budget for 2018 is the highest in the history of the country regardless of the ongoing siege and low oil prices, adding that the country will focus on strengthening the sectors of scientific research, food security, education, logistics, marketing and transportation.
Al Kuwari stressed that Qatar will continue to invest in projects in various countries of the world and will promote domestic and foreign investment in its territory.
He noted that about 100 Spanish companies are currently taking part in development projects in Qatar, as well as the presence of important and known Qatari investments in Spain. Since the beginning of the siege, Spain has become the second importer of natural gas from Qatar. Spanish food exports to Qatar increased by 43%. The Ambassador believed that the relations between the two countries will grow and strengthen further in the near future