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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Qatar-Russia investment partnership bolster to $13bn

Qatar and Russia have enjoyed a long history of strong bilateral relations and have witnessed a significant leap forward in recent years through joint collaborations and investments in the fields of trade, banking and finance, technology, oil and gas.

News Desk |

Rashid bin Majid Awad Al Suwaidi, First Secretary at Qatar’s Embassy to Russia has said that the volume of investments between Qatar and Russia has reached a value worth $13 billion, with Qatar owning 19 percent of the shares in Russia’s oil giant Rosneft.

The statement by the first secretary came out on Monday during his visit to Doha along with a delegation from Russia to coordinate with Qatar Chamber (QC) to discuss Qatar’s participation in the upcoming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum scheduled for mid-next year.

Aspects concerning Qatar’s participation in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2020 as guest country commanded particular attention.

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2020

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is an annual Russian business event for the economic sector, which has been held in St. Petersburg since 1997, and under the auspices of the Russian President since 2005. Each year, more than 10,000 people from over 120 different countries take part. The Forum brings together the chief executives of major Russian and international companies, heads of state, political leaders, prime ministers, deputy prime ministers, departmental ministers, and governors.

The 29th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is expected to be held in Russia by the mid of 2020. Qatar being a keen financial investor in the global community has been actively marking its presence at the event in the past. A meeting between Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov and Minister of Finance of Qatar Ali Sharif Al Emadi has taken place in Moscow in June.

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Discussions focused on expanding bilateral ties, increasing opportunities for businesses to share ideas and experiences, and Qatar’s involvement in Russia’s biggest international business events. Aspects concerning Qatar’s participation in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2020 as guest country commanded particular attention.

As part of preparations for this major event in 2020, a range of positioning options for Qatar at SPIEF 2019 were put forward. These included holding sessions and round tables, inviting key speakers, presenting the social-economic zone in Doha with assistance from the Qatar Financial Centre, and, as noted by Al Emadi, sending a delegation of young representatives from Qatar to participate in the International Youth Forum. Another possibility under consideration is a presentation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General of the event’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.

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Qatar Financial Center join world leaders at SPIEF

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) attended the forum as part of a Qatari delegation, which included high-level executives from the QFC, as well as senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Qatar National Tourism Council, Qatar Investment Authority, Ooredoo, Qatar Airways, Qatar Chamber, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar Free Zones Authority and others earlier in June 2019.

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum  is an annual Russian business event for the economic sector, which has been held in St.

Qatar and Russia have enjoyed a long history of strong bilateral relations and have witnessed a significant leap forward in recent years through joint collaborations and investments in the fields of trade, banking and finance, technology, and oil and gas.

At the event, the CEO of the QFC participated in a panel discussion entitled: ‘How Can Financial Centers Survive in the Era of FinTech?’ alongside other global leaders. The CEO also took part in two other panel discussions entitled “Doing business in Qatar” and “Qatar the Future Trade Hub”, where the potential for cooperation between Qatar and Russia, and the overall competitive advantage of the Qatari market for businesses and international investors were discussed. The QFC also held several high-profile meetings with channel partners from industry and trade.

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Qatar’s acquisition investments – A Game Changer

The Qatari sovereign wealth fund’s acquisition of a stake in Russia’s Rosneft sets the stage for collaboration between the Russian oil major and Qatar Petroleum. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) became a shareholder in Rosneft following the Russian state-controlled oil giant’s privatization in late 2016, and now holds a 19 percent stake.

The QFC also held several high-profile meetings with channel partners from industry and trade.

Though Qatar is a small oil producer compared to its massive gas production, state oil firm Qatar Petroleum is on a drive to expand operations globally. Qatar’s ambassador to Russia, Fahad bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, said QIA’s stake opened the door to cooperation between Rosneft and Qatar Petroleum in projects around the world.

Qatar is seeking international partnerships amid a boycott imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, which severed diplomatic and transport ties with the country in 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Doha denies the charge.

Read more: Breaking the ice between Qatar and other Arab countries

Qatar to balance its alliance with Russia and the US

The United States has called on Qatar, one of the world’s top suppliers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), to challenge Russian gas dominance in Europe. But the tiny Gulf nation will not be at loggerheads with Russia over the European market on political grounds, Qatar’s ambassador to Russia, Fahad bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah has said according to reports.

“We are … in the space of the same commodity and we do want to expand our markets,” he said. “If that expansion comes within the natural course of economic partnership, then absolutely fine.” he further added.

Qatar could also partner in Russian LNG projects, though participation in Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 has not come up in discussions, he said. Al-Attiyah confirmed that Qatar was in talks about buying Russian air defense systems, but said no contracts had been signed due to sanctions on Russian military exports. Previously Saudi Arabia threatened to take military action if Qatar installed the Russian S-400 air defense system.