H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Qatari ? Brazilian Economic Forum
Doha, 15 May 2010
In the name of Allah, the Most gracious, the Most merciful|
Your Excellency Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva President of Brazil,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I have the pleasure to welcome you at the Qatari Brazilian economic forum which is convened today in Doha with the presence of an elite decision makers, businessmen, investors and heads of financial institutions from Qatar and Brazil.
This gathering is an essential step in the march of cooperation between Qatar and Brazil ? a march which has surpassed the domain of bilateral partnership between the two countries to transform into an initiative to enhance the relations and build a partnership between the Arab world and South America. The first and second summits of the Arab and South American countries held in Brasilia and Doha consecutively, alongside with Brasilia 2005 and Doha 2009 declarations have helped enhance cooperation and create the required mechanisms for effective and tangible economic and investment projects and partnerships.
The Qatari Brazilian relationships have witnessed a period momentum especially after the issue of Brasilia 2005 declaration. Trade exchange between the two countries has hiked from US$ 119,437,028 million in 2005 to US$ 220,504,663 million in 2009, increasing by 85%.
Furthermore, there were initiatives for communication at the highest level. Early this year, H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, paid a visit to Brazil during which 9 commercial and economic agreements were singed, including an agreement on avoidance of double taxation for the profits of international air aviation, an agreement on air services, an economic and commercial agreement and others.
Today, you are sponsoring an economic gathering in Doha to promote such excellent initiatives.
The Qatari economy has succeeded in maintaining its growth and boom despite the consequences of the world economic crisis. The growth rate for 2009 was 9% and the International Monetary Fund expects the rate to rise to 18.5%, which will undoubtedly provide numerous and various investment opportunities for the local, Arab and foreign private sector under an efficient and supportive environment and in a climate of cooperation between the public and private sectors to realize development objectives, on the one hand, and commercial and investment objectives, on the other.
Such economic boom is accompanied by opening up to world markets and the improvement of local investment climate, which is reflected in the State budget for 2010-2011, the largest in Qatar's history, in which 40% of the total expenditures is allocated to development projects.
We are well aware of the role played by Brazil as the largest economy in South America and the tenth largest economy in the world by virtue of its huge human, industrial and agricultural resources in addition to its competitive capabilities that enable it to achieve further development.
Hence, the prospects for joint co-operation is wide and there are many various opportunities available for drafting a joint strategy based on mutual interests and making use of the dynamics of the present relations between the two countries for strengthening the joint co-operation.
Finally, I hope this forum would continue to achieve the great objectives for which it is convened. Once more I welcome the esteemed participants wishing them a pleasant stay in Qatar.
Wa Salam Alikom Wa Rahmat Alaahi Wa Barakatoho.