A high-level Chinese delegation led by the Special Envoy for the Foreign Minister Chen MingMing will visit Qatar by month-end. The delegation which includes officials from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will participate in the upcoming Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Conference which will be hosted by Qatar from April 29. The delegation is likely to meet with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Qatar is one of the 18 founding members of the ACD, which was established in 2001 to consolidate Asian strengths to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for the Asian people. Chairing this year’s conference, Qatar will also host a forum for businessmen which is aimed at opening new opportunities for joint cooperation to expand trade and financial markets and increase the economic competitiveness of Asian countries.
ACD member states have in the past also proposed to be prime movers in 20 areas of cooperation, including energy, agriculture, biotechnology, tourism, poverty alleviation, IT development, e-education, and financial cooperation.
Addressing a media round table at his residence yesterday, China’s Ambassador to Qatar Li Chen also said that bilateral relations between Qatar and China has been growing. He said trade volume between the two countries has increased by 30 percent to $14.5bn in 2018 compared to the previous year. He also said Qatar now supplies 40 percent of China’s LNG requirements.
The Ambassador also said there are currently around 200 Chinese and joint Qatar-Chinese companies operating in Qatar. Huawei is also in the middle of talks between Ooredoo and Vodafone to explore further opportunities in the 5G technology, the Ambassador added.
Tourism between the two countries is also flourishing added the Ambassador. To date, Qatar Airways operates 49 direct flights to seven cities across China.
The Ambassador also said that cultural ties between Qatar and China will get a further boost with Qatar Museums Chairperson H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani chairing the Qatar-China Friendship Association.
Speaking about the ongoing ‘Belt and Road’ forum being held in Beijing to highlight China’s ‘project of the century’, the Ambassador reiterated that Qatar was one of the first countries to support China’s global initiative. He also said the Minister of Transport and Communications H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti and Minister of Commerce and Industry H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari will also be addressing the forum in Beijing.
It may be noted that an MOU to draft the Qatari-Chinese implementation plan of the Belt and Road initiative was signed during the visit of the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to China earlier this year.
According to Chinese state media, China has signed more than 170 agreements with 125 countries as part of its modern-day Silk Road project. It also reported that between 2013 and 2018, the deals have totaled more than $90bn in Chinese investment.
Source from: The Peninsula