Qatar - The State of Qatar aspires to strengthen its relations with the world’s most influential countries, including the Federal Republic of Brazil, and the visit of Brazil’s President H E Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who arrived in Doha yesterday, is expected to open a new chapter in the relations spanning nearly 50 years, in light of political and economic challenges and hopes for developing and strengthening bilateral relations.
The diplomatic relations between the two countries was announced in 1974, and the Embassy of the State of Qatar was opened in Brasilia in 1997. In 2005, Brazil exchanged diplomatic representation with Qatar as its then Foreign Minister officially opened his country’s embassy in Doha.
Within the framework of strengthening bilateral relations, Brasilia hosted the fifth round of political consultations between the two countries on October 24, 2023. Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H E Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, chaired the Qatari side, while Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, H E Maria Laura da Rocha, chaired the Brazilian side, in the presence of Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Federative Republic of Brazil H E Ahmed bin Mohamed Al Shaibani. The consultations round discussed bilateral cooperation ties between the two countries and avenues to support and reinforce them.
The last visit by a Brazilian president to Doha was on November 17, 2021. At the invitation of the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, former President of the Federal Republic of Brazil H E Jair Bolsonaro paid an official visit during which it was agreed to explore ways to increase economic partnership to a level that matches the prosperity of the two countries’ economies. They also renewed their determination to continue negotiations on the cooperation and investment facilitation agreement and the double taxation avoidance agreement.
President Bolsonaro, whose visit to Doha coincides with Qatar’s celebration of its National Day, praised the remarkable development achieved by the country over the past five decades. His Highness also congratulated the President, government and people of the Republic of Brazil on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of its independence in the year 2022.
Recognizing the importance of the transport and logistics sector to global supply chains and to the economic development of both countries, the two sides agreed to study the possibilities of bilateral cooperation in this field, including negotiations to reach an agreement on maritime transport. They also affirmed their intention to build a partnership in the field of defence products, including commercial aspects and research and development. Regarding the important role of the science, technology and innovation sector in increasing the competitiveness of their national economies, the two leaderships stressed their determination to explore aspects of complementarity between their countries in the aforementioned sector, and they agreed to begin negotiations in order to reach a cooperation agreement in the field of science, technology and innovation.
The first foundations for strong relations between the two countries were built during a visit by Father Amir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to Brazil in January 2010, which witnessed the signing of an agreement to establish the joint government cooperation committee between the two countries; an agreement for bilateral political consultations between the two ministries of foreign affairs; an agreement for economic, commercial and technical cooperation; memorandums of understanding between Qatar Holding Company and the National Bank for Economic and Social Development, the Guarantee Fund for the Employees of the Bank of Brazil, and the Vale Mining Company; an agreement to exempt holders of diplomatic and private passports from entry visas; an agreement in the field of air transport; and an agreement to avoid double taxation on income from international air transport, and the State of Qatar ratified it on 12/7/2010.
During President Lula da Silva’s visit to Doha in May 2010, the two countries also signed a memorandum to establish a joint business council between the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce; an agreement for sports cooperation, including a memorandum of understanding between the Qatar Olympic Committee and the Brazilian Olympic Committee; a tourism cooperation agreement; a joint news cooperation agreement between the Qatar News Agency (QNA) and the Brazilian communications company (EBC); and a cultural cooperation agreement, including a memorandum of understanding between the National Library of the State of Qatar and the Arab and South American Library (Bibliaspa).
In Oct. 2019, former president H E Jair Bolsonaro visited the State of Qatar, where he met Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Amiri Diwan. The visit coincided with the 45th anniversary of relations between the two countries. It witnessed the signing of a bilateral air services agreement and the joint exemption from entry visa requirements for ordinary passport holders, as well as memorandums of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of health, cooperation in major international events, diplomatic training and defence matters between the ministries of defence of the State of Qatar and Brazil.
President Bolsonaro also attended a meeting that brought together Qatari business leaders to explore new joint investment opportunities offered through economic reforms in Brazil or through the development plans of Qatar National Vision 2030 in the fields of infrastructure, transportation, energy, agribusiness, defense and innovation. The two sides also agreed to begin negotiations regarding the double taxation avoidance agreement.
According to the Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the volume of intra-trade between the State of Qatar and Brazil has increased from QR2.1bn in 2020 to QR3.8bn in 2021, a true reflection of the deep relationship between the two countries and an affirmation of its strength and durability at all levels especially economically and commercially, as also shown in the presence of many Brazilian products in the Qatari market.
The State of Qatar participates in a number of economic activities in Brazil within Arab exhibitions and forums, such as the APAS SHOW in Sao Paulo, organized by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), as well as the Economic Forum held in July 2022 that included the broad participation of Qatari business owners and investors and other Arab economic actors interested in this cooperation. Brazil is the largest country on the South American continent, with a total area of over 8.54 million square kilometers and a population of more than 204 million people. It was ranked the world’s seventh largest economy in 2014, with a GDP of $2.346 trillion, according to the World Bank data. The country is a major agricultural and industrial force and the strongest economy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Brazil is the fourth largest agricultural-producing country in the world, as the country is a major producer of coffee, sugarcane and citrus, and the second-largest soybean, beef and poultry producer.
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