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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-01-30

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM in Qatar: New relation formalized,investment impetus

  • [01] PM in Qatar: New relation formalized,investment impetus

    Doha (AMNA/Sp. Goutzanis) -- A new relationship between Greece and Qatar has been formalized, following Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' discussions with senior Qatari leaders, Greek government sources told AMNA on Wednesday.

    Samaras, on a visit to Doha, met successively on Wednesday with the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and the Crown Prince of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Khalifa Al Thani, followed by a ceremony for the establishment of a Greece-Qatar Business Council. On Tuesday evening he met with the prime minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

    Addressing the inaugural session of the Business Council, Samaras called Wednesday "an important day for the relations between our two countries", since "we are given the opportunity to commence something new, with a new way of though and action", adding that "we can give new impetus to investments and business opportunities".

    Samaras, who arrived in Doha on Monday evening accompanied by several key ministers and a 40-member business delegation, began his official talks with Qatari officials on Tuesday, aiming at enhancing economic relations between the two countries and attracting investments to Greece, and rekindling Qatari investment interest.

    "The Greek businessmen who are today in Qatar are the best. The two countries have many common fields for a new beginning in their relations. Both love life, trade and the sea," he said, adding that "this government is an enemy of bureaucracy and understands the obstacles it raises to growth and business activity".

    Samaras later visited the Pearl-Qatar in Doha, an artificial island spanning nearly four million square meters, while he is also due to tour the Museum of Islamic Art, and the new airport, which Greek companies participated in the construction of, before departing Qatar on Wednesday evening.

    A government source told AMNA that substantial steps were made toward restoring the confidence and credibility between the two countries, which will form the basis for accelerating business agreements.

    The same source stressed that the disbelief created in the Qatari leadership from previous contacts has been overcome, and "now we are moving ahead, but steady steps will be made, we will proceed plan by plan".

    The source said that Qatar continues to insist on its preferred inter-state agreements, but understands the difficulties in Greece due to its commitments to the European regulations for international tendering procedures. The emirate has expressed specific interest in some of the 37 regional airports and 48 marinas due to be denationalized by the Greek government.

    Also, a plan is being advanced for setting up a joint investment fund, with capital from both countries that will invest in small and medium size enterprises.

    The Greek government requires EU approval for the plan, while it is also seeking the capital for its own participation, which could be part of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) monies.

    The source said that the new relationship between the two countries creates margins for the development of direct relations between businessmen from both countries.

    Samaras, the source continued, noted that the businessmen accompanying to government delegation to Doha are of a very high level, which constitutes a vote of confidence in the Greek government.

    He further presented to the Qatari leaders dossiers of specific plans that Greek entrepreneurs have drafted, in which Qatari private or state capital could participate, in such areas as medicines, health, tourism, energy, and even the development of commercial Malls.

    The source said that Qatari interest still existed for the creation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) station in Greece, not in Astakos, which plan has been aborted, but possibly in Kavala and Alexandroupolis.


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