Doha, Qatar: Minister of Commerce and Industry, H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Thani, headed Qatar’s delegation participating in the First Industry and Investment Cooperation Forum between GCC and Republic of China, held in Xiamen, China between 23-24 May 2024, under the slogan “Looking forward to joint enhancement of high-quality development of China-GCC industry and investment cooperation”.

Attended the forum, Ding Xuexiang, first vice premier of the People’s Republic of China, Their Excellencies Ministers of Commerce, Industry, and investment of the GCC countries, H E Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi, Secretary General of the GCC, and representatives of GCC and China private sector’s companies, organizations, financial institutions, and research institutions.

The forum witnessed seeking more joint efforts to explore investment and cooperation opportunities across economic fields.

Minister of Commerce and Industry in his speech, emphasised that the deep relations between GCC countries and China are strengthening the strategic partnerships between the two sides, and solidifying existing confidence and mutual interests.

He added that China-GCC magnificent relations and fruitful cooperation have reflected on the volume of trade exchange between the two sides, where it doubled between 2015-2022 to reach 140% growth and more than $316bn in 2022. He then emphasised that we are heading to new level of relations between GCC countries and China.

He stated that this forum aims to strengthen practical cooperation between the two sides in order to serve their joint interests, especially in priority sectors that will add value to our economies such as energy and metal sector, Finance, industry and logistic services, and other vital sectors.

Minister of Commerce and Industry stated that Qatar and China have strong and solid relations, where China is Qatar’s largest trade partner. The Qatari Chinese trade exchange volume increased in the first quarter of 2024 with 3.7% to reach $6.8bn compared to $6.6bn during the same period last year. Their trade exchange volume has reached $23.7bn in 2023.

In his address, Minister of Commerce and Industry touched upon the Third Development Strategy, which aims to enhance economic diversification through various opportunities, initiatives, and incentives. This strategy targets multiple sectors, including industry, logistics services, technology, and financial services, among others.

During the industry and investment forum, four subforums were held. The first sub-forum focused on the sustainable development of energy and mining, the second on investment and cooperation in digital economy, the third on financial cooperation, and the fourth on transportation and infrastructure.

At the end of the forum, “Xiamen” initiative was announced by their excellencies the ministers, which aims to solidify industrial and investment cooperation between GCC countries and China.

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