Posted on October 05, 2011

Qatar will continue to upgrade relations with Japan especially in the energy and industry sectors, HE the Deputy Premier and Chairman of the Emiri Diwan Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said here on Monday.

Addressing the 6th meeting of Qatar-Japan joint higher economic ministerial committee at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, al-Attiyah said that such an annual meeting is a fundamental step in the co-operation process between Qatar and Japan. On the Japanese side the meeting was headed by the country’s Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano.

The Deputy Premier said that HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada would continue to upgrade and cement bilateral relations especially in the energy and industry sectors. 

“His Excellency Dr Mohamed Saleh al-Sada is familiar with the oil and gas sector in Qatar and with the importance of our relations with Japan as he has held a number of senior positions in Qatar Petroleum and its group of companies. He has also worked closely with me for four years in the capacity of minister of state for energy and industry affairs before his appointment to the present position in January this year. I have no doubt that Dr al-Sada will continue to lend his full support and commitment to the work of the Qatar-Japan Friendship Association”, al-Attiyah said.

Al-Attiyah also highlighted Qatar’s role in assisting Japan following the unprecedented tsunami and earthquake earlier this year. “Our gathering this year comes only few months after the terrible earthquake that struck the north-eastern part of Japan last March and which caused massive loss of life and unprecedented destruction”, al-Attiyah said and referred to the $100mn donation HH the Emir had offered Japan in the aftermath of the catastrophe. Al-Attiyah also referred to the role of the Qatari citizen who offered donations and assistance to the tsunami victims. “I have no doubt that Japan will overcome this crisis, recover from the aftermath of the disaster and emerge stronger than ever”, he said.

Al-Attiyah said, “The courage, discipline and resilience of the Japanese people in the face of a natural disaster of such scale have touched the hearts and minds of the Qatari leadership and people with huge support and genuine solidarity coming from not only the government but also Qatari companies and individuals, in various forms”.

Al-Attiyah also highlighted the role of the Qatari companies working in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and other hydrocarbon sectors which supply Japan with huge amounts of LNG, LPG and other petroleum derivatives to assist the Japanese energy corporations.

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Touching on Qatar’s economy, al-Attiyah said, “Qatar’s economy has been transformed in recent years, thanks to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, and its wise strategy that relies primarily on developing the country’s natural resources for the benefit of the people and unlocking the human potential to diversity and prepare a better and more sustainable future for the next generations. Such “open-door” strategy consists of developing genuine co-operation with and encouraging participation of international players who bring more technology, financing, markets and other ingredients to make our ventures successful. I am glad to say that many Japanese companies have responded positively and are presently reaping the rewards of their partnership in Qatar.

“Qatar has a lot to offer to Japanese investors. It has a stable political environment, a fast growing economy, a transparent business system and it offers opportunities in all areas of activities that are not limited to the energy sector but extend to small and medium industries and services”, al-Attiyah said.

Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba praised the Qatari-Japanese relations calling  for more co-operation between the two countries in several domains. He also reviewed aspects of partnership and chances for upgrading it in various fields.

Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano welcomed the  outcome of the joint higher economic committee meetings which he said played effective and significant role in cementing and developing economic relations between the two sides. Later, al-Attiyah and the Japanese foreign minister and minister of economy, trade and industry signed the minutes of the joint higher economic ministerial committee meeting.

source: Gulf Times