HE the Chairman of Administrative Control and Transparency Authority Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah has praised the robust bilateral relationship between Qatar and Japan and said it was an example of successful co-operation and partnership between a Middle Eastern and a South East Asian country.
“The fact that Japan chose Doha to host the 37th Japan Co-operation Forum for the Middle East shows the importance it attaches to our country and the importance of Qatar’s role in the Middle East,” al-Attiyah told Gulf Times yesterday.
Earlier, addressing the forum at the Sheraton, al-Attiyah said he was pleased with the fact that it was being held on the 40th year of Qatar establishing full diplomatic relationship with Japan.
“Our relationship has made tremendous strides in the last 40 years. I congratulate both Qatar and Japan on this historic occasion,” said al-Attiyah, also the chairman of the Qatar-Japan Friendship Association.
“After Qatar became an independent sovereign state, it has given top priority to develop and maintain friendly, beneficial and diverse economic ties with Japan based on mutual trust, respect and win-win co-operation,” said HE al-Attiyah.
In the recent years, the Qatari economy has seen transformation thanks to the vision and leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
Qatar’s strategy is based on the development of the country’s natural resources for the benefit of the people and the diversification of the economy in preparation of a better and more sustainable future for generations to come.
Al-Attiyah highlighted the importance of the role played by governments in steering bilateral relationship and encouraging private companies to interact and establish sound partnerships based on mutual trust.
“While we are strong believers in free enterprise and in the leading role that private sector can play in developing businesses and trade, we also see a crucial role for government and public institutions in paving the way and creating the right environment for investment and enterprise.
“Various Japanese entities are playing a key role in promoting not only dialogue, friendship and understanding but also facilitating economic cooperation, trade, investment and cultural exchange with Middle Eastern countries.
“The role played by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and their affiliated organisations such as Japan Cooperation Centre for the Middle East, Japan International Cooperation Agency, JETRO, JBIC and others in this respect are highly laudable.
“Qatar very much appreciates the importance Japan gives to developing meaningful and mutually beneficial co-operation with the Middle East region. This forum is a testimony to such genuine efforts”.
This is the first time the forum is being held in Qatar. It aims at discussing and exchanging views on the political and economic situation of the Middle Eastern and North African countries in order to give an overall picture and direction of measures to enhance industrial co-operation between Japan and the Mena region.
In his opening address, Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of the Japan Co-operation Centre for the Middle East said Japanese companies needed to be competitive to face rising competition from firms in China, Korea and elsewhere.
He also said the Japanese economy was facing challenges mainly due to the global economic turbulence and the appreciation of its currency- yen.
Japanese ambassador Kenjiro Monji said the embassy in Doha would provide all assistance to Japanese firms that are interested in doing business in Qatar. He also spoke about Qatar’s growing importance as a rising regional and global power.
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