Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to invest $30bn this year

Posted by newsonline at 12:40 AM 0 Comments

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, invested $30bn last year and is expected to match the same amount this year, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani said.

Speaking at a joint news conference here yesterday with visiting Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem said, “Only in 2009 we made $30bn investments and we are thinking to invest the same amount this year.”

Prior to the news conference Qatar and Bulgaria signed an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

The agreement was signed from the Qatari side by the Minister of Economy and Finance, H E Yousuf Hussein Kamal and the Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miladenov Nickolay.

The two countries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of energy.

The agreement was signed by State Minister for International Cooperation, Member of Cabinet and Acting Minister of Business and Trade, H E Dr Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah and Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism.

Qatar and Bulgaria agreed to set up a joint company that will explore investment opportunities in agriculture, energy and infrastructure projects.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem said the two sides did not discuss the amount Qatar is expected to invest in Bulgaria, but “Qatar is ready to invest as long as there is a good return for both sides,” he said. “I cannot give a figure, but I can mention that we are very serious about these projects,” he said.

Asked whether the two sides discussed the possibility of constructing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Bulgaria, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem said, “If we are thinking about another terminal, that will need a lot of technical and financial studies and see who the end-user of the gas is. At the moment this is under study in Qatar and I don’t think anything will happen before one or two years in this respect. Bulgaria is one of the countries in our list for such a project but it depends on the end-users and the quantity required.”

The Prime Minister also said Qatar is expected to open its embassy in Sofia this year.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister, Boiko Borissov termed the meeting with the Qatari side as pragmatic and said that the joint company will be looking into two to five projects in agriculture, energy and infrastructure as well as education and tourism, noting that foreign investments in Bulgaria were fully guaranteed.

He also expressed his wish for a direct flight between Doha and Sofia in the near future.



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