Irish PM seeks investments from Qatar…

DOHA: A group of Qatari investors is to travel to Ireland in the coming months to explore opportunities in areas such as financial services, infrastructure, SMEs, innovations and Research & Development, visiting Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny  said here yesterday.

Addressing top Qatari businessmen at an event hosted by Qatar Businessmen Association (QBA), in the presence of  Qatar’s Minister of Economy and Commerce H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, Enda  said  the “Qatari investment entity” will visit Ireland in March 2014 to look at the vast opportunities in Ireland.

The Irish premier, who is leading a trade delegation from his country, earlier met with Qatar’s Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa  Al Thani, representatives of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and several other agencies, including Qatar Airways.

“The doors of Ireland are wide open for Qatari businessmen. We do businesses in highest standard. Now we are focusing on this part of the world, at the same time we are looking for opportunities in Qatar as well,” he said.

Enda who said Ireland’s economic gloom is a thing of past added the country saw a two percent growth rate and just issued a 10-year bond. With a two percent growth rate and creating over 58,000 new jobs last year, the investor confidence is really high in the country, he said.

“We see our economy and businesses becoming more competitive. There is dynamic growth and has a transparent tax regime ….. Ireland has world class Research and Development sector, a transparent tax regime.”

QBA board member chairman Sheikh Hamad bin Faisal Al Thani noted Qatar’s political stability, security and economic prosperity has led the country to become a major hub and attractive destination for regional and international investments.

Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup have opened up huge opportunities in the country. We invite Irish companies to participate in those projects, he said.

Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman, QBA, and Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland signed a memorandum of understanding to boost the future bilateral business opportunities.

Earlier yesterday Minister of Economy and Commerce H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed Al Thani met Irish Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Richard Bruton. They reviewed ways of developing investment opportunities, boosting commercial exchange between Qatar and Ireland as well as means of benefiting from mutual investment opportunities.

Exports between the two countries consisted mainly of plastic products, organic chemicals, iron and steel, aluminium products, while imports comprised electrical appliances, electronic equipment, cereals, flour, starch, essential oils, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products among other products.

Trade exchange between the two countries increased from QR291.5m in 2010 to QR334.75m in 2013, Qatar News Agency reported. Source: The Peninsula

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