H E Edgar Doerig, Ambassador of Switzerland to Qatar, QBA’s Board Member Sherida Al Kaabi, with other members from the QBA and Swiss delegation, during the meeting in Doha, recently.
Doha: The Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) organised a business lunch in honour of the visit of a delegation of Swiss companies and hospitals specialised in medical tourism and medical services, headed by H E Edgar Doerig, Ambassador of Switzerland to Qatar.
The meeting was attended by QBA’s Board Member Sherida Al Kaabi and QBA members: Omar Al Fardan, Khalid Al Mannai, Maqbool Habib Khalfan, Nabil Abu Issa, Sheikh Khalid bin Nawaf Al Thani, General Manager of Nasser Bin Khaled Holding Company, Abdullah Al Kubaisi, Dhafer Halawa, and Rashid Al Mansouri, CEO of Aamal Holding Group, as well as Sarah Abdullah, QBA Deputy GM.
At the beginning of the meeting, Al Kaabi welcomed the Swiss delegation and spoke about the depth of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Al Kaabi stressed the important opportunities for tourism and investment in both countries, noting that while Switzerland is a major tourist destination for Qataris and Gulf residents, Qatar is on the verge of organising an exceptional version of the World Cup, where the country welcomes the Swiss fans and tourists.
For his part, the Swiss Ambassador highlighted that there are promising opportunities to enhance Qatari-Swiss cooperation in various sectors, especially tourism and medical tourism. Doerig also indicated that the volume of trade between Qatar and Switzerland rose by 92 percent to over QR5bn in 2021 from QR2.6bn in 2020.
The Ambassador added that the Swiss national team’s qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will increase the interest of the Swiss tourists in visiting Qatar.
Also speaking during the event, Al Fardan said that after the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increasing interest by the members of the Qatari Businessmen Association in the health sector and health technology; and that relations with Switzerland are growing in many fields including tourism, especially medical treatment, which opens prospects for further closer cooperation between the private sector in both countries.
Doerig also stressed that the Qatari market is becoming increasingly important to Switzerland, and Qatar is the third largest market for Switzerland in the Middle East and North Africa. He added that there is an increase in the number of tourists from Switzerland to Qatar, stressing that there are important investment opportunities, and the World Cup is giving positive signals about the region.
The Ambassador added: “We are optimistic as there are investments for Katara Hospitality that are prominent landmarks for Qatari investments in Switzerland, which are in three luxury hotels that belong to the largest luxury hotel group in Switzerland, and this is a very important development, and I expect that there will be an increase in investments in the two countries”.
Doerig added that next year the two countries will celebrate 50 years of establishing their diplomatic relations, “which means that after the World Cup we will have many events such as car exhibitions between Geneva and Doha, in addition to promoting investments in diverse sectors such as hospitality and real estate”.