Doha Bank one of the largest private commercial bank in the State of Qatar, recently celebrated the third anniversary of its representative office in China, at Pudong Shangri- la, Shanghai. As part of its celebration, Doha Bank conducted a knowledge sharing session on “GCC economies and growth opportunities for China”. The event was presided over by Mr. Ahmed M. N. M. Al-Dehaimi, Charged Affairs of Embassy of the State of Qatar in China and Mr. Hu Yan from Shanghai Financial Services Office. The top delegates from People’s Bank of China, Jing An District Government and Shanghai Chamber of Commerce also graced the occasion. Apart from the delegates from government organisations, professionals from leading corporate and local/foreign banks also attended this event.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Seetharaman, Group CEO, Doha Bank gave his global economic outlook and the scheme of events contributing to the global recovery and the risks prevailing in consideration of the ongoing crisis. He stated that “Private credit demand is rebounding and Bank’s credit continues to be weak. Risk of over-regulation needs to be assessed carefully. The sovereign risks prevail mainly at the Euro zone. The recent European stress tests had also reflected weakness in seven banks, which will plan to resolve this weakness”
Mr. Seetharaman while explaining on state of Qatar's emergence as a role model for transformation on economic and social fronts said “Qatar has effectively followed the true principles of globalization that is driving the world economies through progressive liberalization and modernization under the astute leadership of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar and His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Heir Apparent of the State of Qatar. Qatar’s National Vision 2030 builds on a society that promotes justice, benevolence and equality. The increasing energy demand in last of couple of year’s world over had enabled GCC to generate considerable fiscal surplus thereby substantially improving its balance of payments position which has further enabled this visionary state to invest wisely on various industrial, infrastructural projects and overseas investments. The combined value of developments projects in GCC countries exceeds USD 1.30 trillion. The major projects in Qatar include New Doha International Airport, Pearl Island and Mesaieed Industrial city’s port.”
Mr. Seetharaman gave his economic outlook on Chinese economy. He highlighted on the bilateral trade between China and GCC in recent years and said “GCC countries significantly meet Chinese oil needs and it is expected that demand for oil from china is expected to increase on account of growth in economy activity. China and GCC can also diversify their bilateral relations beyond oil. A free trade agreement between GCC and China should appropriately consider the above factors. “Mr. Seetharaman gave his overview on the significant bilateral deals between Qatar and China and said” Recently Qatar Investment authority invested $ 2.8billion on the Intial public offering of Agricultural Bank of China. In May 2010 Qatar petroleum signed new exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) with Shell and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for Qatar’s gas basin ‘Block D’. In this deal Shell holds 75 per cent and CNPC holds 25 per cent. Before CNPC, Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) entered an exploration and production sharing agreement with Qatar Petroleum for offshore Blocks B and C in September 2009. In recent two years, CNOOC and Petro-China have concluded LNG purchase contracts of a total 10 million tons per year with Qatar. China and Qatar have agreed to advance military cooperation. Various Chinese companies such as Kinglong Company, China Harbour engineering and Sino hydro also participate in Qatar projects.”Mr. Seetharaman highlighted on the significant bilateral deals between other GCC countries and China and said “Saudi Arabia has been China's biggest trade partner in West Asia for eight consecutive years. Saudi Aramco and Sinopec have formed a partnership to build an USD 5bn oil refinery in China's Fujian province. Saudi Basic Industries Company (SABIC) received the permission to build a USD 3bn petrochemical complex at Tianjin in northeast China. Bilateral trade between the UAE and China could surpass US$ 100bn by 2015. 2,000 Chinese firms operate in the UAE. Recently Kuwait Investment Authority had invested $800m in the Intial public offering of Agricultural Bank of China. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its partner Sinopec got preliminary approval from Chinese government for a USD 9 billion oil refinery project in south China's Guangdong Province. Major Chinese companies working with Oman include China Harbour Company and China National Building material equipment corporation.”Mr. Seetharaman highlighted the socio-economic development projects in Qatar such as establishment of world-class educational institutions. On the social front all the important indicators such as healthcare system, literacy rate and women participation in governance indicate steady improvement resulting in significant transformationIn his concluding remarks, Mr. Seetharaman said “GCC and China have many areas to synergise further which can promote cross- border partnerships on trade and investments will lead to economic welfare between countries”