Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC), founded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Social Development Center (SDC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Paris&Co, the economic development and innovation agency of Paris.
The MoU aims to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between Doha and Paris that supports the incubation of startups through the sharing of knowledge and services provided by each incubator. It allows both parties to exchange advice, support and connections, while offering select start-ups the opportunity to establish their business in Doha and Paris.
The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and QBIC Chairman Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa signed officially, in the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) event, a document endorsing the signing of a MoU between QBIC – represented by its CEO Aysha al Mudahka – and Paris&Co – represented by its co-CEO Karine Bidart. H.E. Eric Chevallier, French Ambassador to Qatar, attended the signing.
“We are truly happy of this MoU, for it is a new step in the economic and knowledge cooperation between our two countries, in favor of startups and SMEs development, in line with Qatar’s National Vision for 2030. We believe that this cooperation will be fruitful and will foster the commitment of both Doha and Paris in the forward-looking sector of tourism”, highlighted the French Ambassador in Qatar, His Excellency Eric Chevallier. “France has a lot to share in this field, and it has also a lot to learn from Qatar’s dynamism. We were pleased and honored to have the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and QBIC Chairman Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa endorsing this agreement during the Global Entrepreneurship Week”.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Chairman of QBIC and CEO of QDB, Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, commented: “We strongly believe that to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030, we must shoulder our share of the responsibility and dedicate ourselves to developing the private sector through supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). QBIC is making every effort to support this mission by empowering promising entrepreneurs to contribute to the economy.”
He continued: “As a well-established incubator Paris&Co enjoys a wealth of experience in the entrepreneurship field, and we look forward to introducing our incubatees to the new and exciting opportunities presented by this agreement.”
Both parties agreed to support startups in the fields of information technology, sports, creative industries, with a particular focus on tourism businesses, giving them new avenues to expand in international markets. This is expected to be particularly beneficial to startups incubated in QBIC Tourism, which was established by QBIC and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) to enable entrepreneurs to develop products and services that enhance the Qatar tourism experience.
“France is a premium destination sought-out by tourists all around the world. This agreement will bring countless insights and experiences to startups in QBIC Tourism, furthering our ability to guide entrepreneurs as they introduce creative business ideas to the market that enrich visitor experience across the sector’s various priority areas, from MICE to cultural tourism,” said CEO, QBIC, Aysha Al Mudahka.
Qatari-French trade relations have grown significantly over the past few years. In 2015, bilateral trade reached QR7.5bn in value, compared with QR4.7bn in 2010. Additionally, there are 294 companies currently operated in Qatar, including 66 fully owned French firms and 228 French-Qatari joint companies.
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