Qatar expects higher FDI inflows, capitalising on World Cup

KUALA LUMPUR,  With the impending 2022 World Cup quickly approaching, host nation Qatar is aiming for higher foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the country’s infrastructure development, taking advantage of its open and competitive market, said Ambassador of Qatar to Malaysia Fahad Mohammed Kafoud.

He said this was evident when international contractors bid for many joint-ventures with local companies owned by the Gulf state in building the Doha Metro rail network.

“The Qatar government is committed to providing seamless transportation experience for the fans attending the World Cup, who will have the option to travel to stadiums on the ultra-modern Doha Metro and Lusail Tram with 37 Metro stations to be built ahead of the World Cup.

“The hosting of this World Cup needs many human resources, who need to undergo training. Many of our friends (where Qatar has bilateral ties with) including Malaysia, are coming to Qatar and partnering with us for the infrastructure development in the run-up to the World Cup,” he told Bernama in conjunction with the Qatar National Day which was attended by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali here, recently.

The Doha Metro – Qatar’s first-ever underground railway system – is designed to alleviate traffic problems and accommodate future growth in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The metro system will support Qatar’s wider 2030 “National Vision” – a strategy for driving economic and social progress – and will be joined by two other major rail projects: the Lusail Tram that will serve residents of Lusail City and connect them to Doha – and the Long Distance Rail, which will be connected to the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rail network.

On another note, the envoy reiterated Qatar’s commitment to provide an open and competitive market to Malaysian investors to strengthen their presence in the oil rich state.

He said Malaysia is a very significant market for Qatar and that the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries will remain strong as a result of the great relationship between the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al-Thani and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“We adopt an open market system for Malaysian investors to invest and the recent announcement by the Qatar government in allowing citizens of 80 countries to visit Qatar visa-free has somehow facilitated the ease of doing business,” he said, adding there were some 5,000 to 6,000 Malaysian nationals residing in Qatar.

Asked on Qatar’s investments in Malaysia, Fahad said many investments and joint-ventures were in the real estate sector.

Qatar is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of gross domestic product per capita and Malaysia is the country’s 24th largest trading partner.

From January to August 2019, total trade improved 25.2 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM2.47 billion compared with RM1.98 billion previously.

Malaysia’s exports to Qatar expanded 43.7 per cent y-o-y to RM994 million from RM691.6 million, while imports increased at a slower pace of 15.3 per cent y-o-y to RM1.48 billion from RM1.28 billion previously.

The total trade between the two countries amounted to RM3.72 billion in 2018, a 29 per cent increase compared to 2017.



Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)