A delegation from Sierra Leone met with representatives of Qatar Chamber to explore economic opportunities as Qatar’s trade surplus soars.
Qatar Chamber’s first vice chairman Mohamed bin Towar al-Kuwari and Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) CEO Sheku Lexmond Koroma met in Doha yesterday to discuss ways to enhance trade and economic and industrial cooperation between the two states. The meeting was attended by Dr Edward Hinga Sandy, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Trade and Industry via video conference. According to Koroma, the Sierra Leonean delegation included representatives of government agencies, business owners, and investors from Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone-Qatar cooperation
The meeting covered opportunities to improve trade and industrial cooperation along with potential investment opportunities in both states. Al-Kuwari stated that trade between the two nations was lower than either government desired, and that there was potential across a range of sectors, including agriculture and mining, and that Sierra Leone had an abundance of natural resources. Qatari and Sierra Leonean companies could benefit from improved trade and investment, he said. Al-Kuwari issued a call for Sierra Leonean companies to build partnerships with the Qatari private sector in industry, services and tourism.
Dr Sandy highlighted Sierra Leone’s investments across various agricultural and industrial sectors and its access to natural resources, including diamonds, gold, iron, and wood.
Al-Kuwari said that Qatar Chamber was ready to provide assistance to business owners and investors from Sierra Leone in establishing direct or joint projects in Qatar and that the Chamber would encourage Qataris to invest in Sierra Leone.
Qatar as a destination for investment
Al-Kuwari went on to say that Qatar was a leading regional center for business thanks to the development of free and industrial zones and ongoing steps to make the country an attractive environment for investment. According to Al-Kuwari, Qatar is open to foreign investments and he highlighted Qatar’s strategic location as a gateway to African markets, the country’s foreign capital protection scheme and beneficial tax regime.
The delegation’s presentation to the Chamber highlighted the agricultural sector, and opportunities in foodstuffs, including cocoa, the country’s top export, rice, grains, poultry, and vegetables. During the presentation, the delegation also discussed opportunities in tourism, and spoke about investment incentives, the country’s tax system, exemptions, and the facilities granted to foreign investors.
Climbing exports and foreign investments
According to statistics from the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA), Qatar’s trade surplus climbed by 86.8%, year-on-year during Q1 2022.
Earlier this month, the CEO of the Egyptian General Authority for Investment and Free Zones met with representatives of the Qatari Businessmen Association to discuss trade and investment opportunities. In March, Qatari officials committed to invest USD 5 billion in Egypt in an effort to support the country’s economy.