SPIEF 2020 session held in Qatar
Among the events to take place on the sidelines of the recent Doha Forum in Qatar was a St. Petersburg International Economic Forum session held with the support of the Embassy of Qatar in Russia and the Qatar–Russia project office.
“The SPIEF session at the Doha Forum not only marks an important step forward in preparations for the upcoming Forum in St. Petersburg, where Qatar will have the prestigious status of guest country. Building contacts of this kind also helps establish enduring ties between our nations. It facilitates a transition away from bilateral cooperation based on meetings between official representatives towards day-to-day operations between economic entities, such as business associations, regional government figures, and representatives of large and small companies alike. As the two economies draw closer, so genuine partnership between our countries takes shape. And achieving this is our ultimate aim,” said Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation and Executive Secretary of the SPIEF 2020 Organizing Committee Anton Kobyakov.
The SPIEF panel session took place on 14 December under the title ‘Developing the High-Tech Sector in Russia: Prospects for Venture Investment’.
Attendees discussed areas in which Russia and Qatar could collaborate to support innovative companies. The session also saw the announcement of an initiative to establish a venture fund for investing in priority innovative companies.
On the same day, the Roscongress Foundation and the Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar (IPAQ) signed an agreement to establish a joint working group to coordinate investment and business projects.
On 15 December, a business lunch event was held entitled ‘Russia–Qatar: Unlocking the Potential for Cooperation’. Among the topics under focus were boosting bilateral cooperation, increasing trade, and examining areas of mutual investment. Aspects related to venture investment were also widely discussed.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Qatar to the Russian Federation Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah drew attention to his nation’s growing partnership with Russia across a whole range of areas. “We have reached new heights in our relations with Russia in areas such as the economy, politics, culture, and security. Together with my colleague, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Qatar, we are promoting the bilateral agenda. We view Russia as a promising economy, and we must expand the horizons of our partnership. SPIEF is a key platform in this regard. The Forum is a crucial event which will accelerate the development of our economic and trade relations, and take them to the next level,” he said.
Plans on arranging a Russian business delegation visit to Qatar in February–March 2020 were also announced at the meeting. The visit will take place by invitation of Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Minister of Finance of Qatar. The delegation will include representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises, who will be able to learn about the business opportunities offered by Qatar.
“We see a great deal of interest in Qatar to develop joint ventures with Russia in the tech industry, research, agriculture, and telecommunications. Roscongress is well placed to provide a platform to select projects within its ecosystem. We are planning to pool these projects together and present them at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum,” said Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Roscongress Foundation Alexander Stuglev.
The RC-Investments Foundation will coordinate the process to select and subsequently present projects for consideration by Qatari representatives. The organization is the investment branch of the Roscongress Foundation, which was established to provide systemic and ongoing support for partners and customers of the Foundation submitting business-related requests. The RC-Investments Foundation will prioritize projects in real estate, agriculture, telecommunications, and financial investment, including venture funding.
The Doha Forum also saw a number of meetings take place between representatives of the Roscongress Foundation and figures from business associations and state institutions in Qatar. Among the attendees were Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al Thani, Chief Executive Officer of the Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar (IPAQ); Mansoor Bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud, Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA); Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Minister of Finance of Qatar; Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry of Qatar, and a number of representatives from the Qatari Businessmen Association and the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
A range of topics were discussed at these meetings, including preparations for Qatar’s participation in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2020, opportunities to collaborate in investment, organizing joint events, and increasing the number of visits made by members of the two countries’ business communities.
In addition, several meetings took place between representatives of Russian companies and members of the Qatari business community. These meetings, which were supported by the Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar together with the RC-Investments Foundation, examined ways to work together to attract investment for Russian projects.