Qatar seeks a sustainable investment partnership with Ukraine, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Acting Minister of Finance of Qatar H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari said during the second meeting of the joint commission on economic, trade and technical cooperation between the two countries.
“In August 2020, the Qatari company QTerminals signed an agreement with the Ukrainian side on the concession for Olvia seaport in Mykolaiv. In the next five years, it is planned to invest in the development of the Ukrainian port and infrastructure. We will continue to expand the investment partnership,” he said.
“Today’s meeting of the commission is a necessary tool to achieve this goal,” he added.
Following the meeting, the co-chairs of the commission namely Minister of Commerce and Industry of Qatar H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari and Ukrainian Minister of Finance Serhiy Marchenko signed a protocol on amending the agreement between the governments of Ukraine and Qatar on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion in relation to income tax.
The parties also discussed further steps in the development of bilateral relations and defined promising areas of cooperation, in particular, attracting investments, developing entrepreneurship and cooperation in tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, energy, health care, and financial sector, the report said.
“The meeting reaffirmed the desire of the two states to intensify economic activity. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing an upward trend in bilateral trade and hope to continue this positive trend. One of our top priorities is to attract investment in the economies of the two countries and strengthen business cooperation,” Marchenko said.
The Ministry of Finance recalled the first meeting of the joint commission on cooperation between Ukraine and Qatar took place in 2018.
Nebras Power is announcing its entry into the Ukrainian electricity market with the acquisition of six solar projects and a partnership agreement with UDP Renewables, Nebras Power reported on Twitter.
According to a report on the website of the president of Ukraine, UDP Renewables investment and development company and the Qatari state-owned company Nebras Power have signed an agreement to invest in “green” generation facilities, the construction of which is scheduled for 2021-2022.
According to the agreements reached, Nebras Power becomes the owner of a controlling stake in a number of solar power plant operators.
The signing of the agreement will contribute to deepening cooperation between Ukraine and the State of Qatar in the field of foreign investment and the development of renewable energy sources, an innovative economy and environmental protection, the President’s Office noted.
As reported, at the end of January, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) authorized Nebras Power Investment Management B.V. (the Netherlands), a member of the Qatar group Nebras, to receive 50% or more in six companies operating solar and wind power plants of businessman Vasyl Khmelnytsky and his partners.
According to the committee, the matter concerns 50% in Volyn West Wind-1 LLC and Volyn West Wind-2 LLC, as well as more than 50% in Free Energy Henichesk LLC, Scythia-Solar-1 LLC, Scythia-Solar-2 LLC and Port Solar LLC.
The Ministry of Energy of Ukraine and Qatar Petroleum, the state-owned oil and gas company of Qatar, have signed a memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation, the press service of the Ministry of Energy said.
On the part of Ukraine, the document was signed by acting Minister of Energy Yuriy Vitrenko, for Qatar – President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi.
“Cooperation in the oil and gas sector of Ukraine and Qatar is promising and important for our country. Qatar is one of the largest gas producers in the world and has valuable experience and significant financial resources for investments in the exploration and production of gas in Ukraine,” Vitrenko, who is currently on a visit to the capital of Qatar, Doha, as part of the Ukrainian delegation led by the president of Ukraine, said.
In addition, according to him, cooperation with Qatar is of fundamental importance for Kyiv from the point of view of diversifying sources of gas supplies to Ukraine.
In accordance with the memorandum, the states intend to develop cooperation, in particular in the areas of investments from Qatar in the exploration and production of gas in Ukraine, as well as gas supplies (liquefied natural gas) from Qatar to Ukraine.
The memorandum will be valid for three years and can be automatically renewed for the same period.
During his visit to Qatar, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that representatives of the financial sector of Qatar are interested in entering the banking market of Ukraine, the presidential press service said.
“Qatar is interested in entering the Ukrainian banking market. We are also interested and offered options. They are choosing,” Zelensky said.
According to Zelensky, “Qatar is interested in investing in the construction of Ukrainian hotels in Kyiv, Kherson and Odesa, as well as in investing in the construction of a ring road around Kyiv.”
“We invited them [Qatar officials] to the infrastructure, because today we are choosing partners with whom to construct the ring road around Kyiv. I would like to construct it fundamental, large, as there are 200 kilometers, including bridges. This is a very expensive work, about $3 billion, so it will be difficult for Ukraine alone to do it. They are also interested in this,” Zelensky said.
The President of Ukraine said, “during the meeting, the discussion was about Qatari investments in the construction of metro and railways in Ukraine.”
Zelensky also said he is expecting specialists from Qatar at the end of the summer to assess Ukrainian cargo and passenger air transportation.
“We are preparing for the opening of our public airlines, our public air carrier. And I communicate with some partner countries, which of them to take with experience and with modern management. In particular, I communicate with Qatar, because Qatar Airways has a very good experience,” the president said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said that in 2020, bilateral trade between Ukraine and Qatar doubled, despite the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the press service of the head of state reported.
“Trade and economic cooperation underpins our relations with Qatar. I am pleased that bilateral trade following the results of such a difficult “pandemic” year 2020 reached high levels – almost $150 million. This is twice as much as, for example, in 2018. And this year, the momentum of trade between our countries has also been increased,” Zelensky’s press service said, quoting the president as saying in an interview with Qatari media outlets.
According to Zelensky, “the potential for trade and economic cooperation with Qatar can be much higher.”
Among examples of opportunities for bilateral economic growth, Zelensky noted the concession of the Ukrainian port of Olvia by the Qatari company QTerminals, as well as the implementation of domestic Ukrainian national programs to attract foreign investors.
He recalled that “in February 2021, he signed a law on so-called “investment nannies,” which provides strategic investors, whose investment amount exceeds EUR 20 million, with state support.”
In addition, “the Big Construction project, which provides for the construction of roads and other infrastructure facilities, is promising for investors.”
Also, according to Zelensky, “in the summer of 2021, a land reform, which establishes transparent relations in the agricultural sector and creates conditions for investing in livestock, agricultural processing, and logistics infrastructure, will start in Ukraine.”
Ukraine considers Qatar as a promising market for increasing exports of grain, poultry products, vegetable oil, as well as for expanding the range of agricultural products supplied, Head of the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine Ihor Petrashko said, following negotiations with Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Ukraine Hadi Al-Hajri.
“We understand the importance of ensuring food security in the world, therefore, we are interested in stepping up cooperation in this direction. In particular, Ukraine is making every effort to guarantee an uninterrupted supply of food to foreign markets,” Petrashko said.
The Economy Ministry said the Ukrainian agricultural sector is promising for attracting internal and foreign investments, and the mutually beneficial development of investments between Ukraine and Qatar can provide an additional impetus to trade and economic cooperation in this direction.
According to the ministry, in 2020 the trade turnover between Ukraine and Qatar increased by 69.2%, year-over-year, to $139.16 million, while the export of Ukrainian goods increased by 75.7%, to $131.61 million.