Leading Qatari businessman mulls investment office

A member of the Qatari Business Association will be seriously looking at opening a representative office for the Mediterranean in Malta, following a visit to Doha by Investment Minister Chris Cardona, during which discussions were held with leading investors.

Sources familiar with the discussions identified the Qatari as Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani, who runs a multimillion euro organisation of over 30 companies employing 3,000 staff in various countries.

His investments cover hospitality and leisure, the largest shopping mall in the Middle East, contracting services, pharmaceutical representation, foodstuffs, transportation and international investments.

The office is expected to be opened within the next couple of months and will be used to seek investment opportunities in Malta and in the region, particularly in North Africa and in southern Europe.

A leading board member of the company is expected to visit Malta in May at the invitation of Dr Cardona.

The minister headed a delegation of Maltese entrepreneurs and representatives of governmental agencies and constituted bodies, with the aim of attracting further investment and quality jobs. Dr Cardona also met the Qatari Minister for the Economy and Commerce, Sheikh Ahmad bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani to ex­plain Malta’s economic strategy and the favourable impact it is having on Malta’s credit rating.

“The Maltese government sees Qatar as a country with vast investment opportunities. Due to this, the Maltese government will be ap­pointing a focus group with the specific objective of ensuring that local businesses do not miss out on these opportunities, while also attracting towards Malta more companies from Qatar that are willing to invest,” Dr Cardona said.

Qatar’s GDP in 2013 was $198 million (€144m) with a real growth rate of 5.5 per cent. It is sitting on 26 trillion cubic metres of gas – the world’s third largest reserve.

Sunday, March 23, 2014, Times of Malta