Chinese firm eyes Qatar as base for manufacture of electric-buses

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Chinese firm eyes Qatar as base for manufacture of electric-buses

State-backed China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is looking at one of the free zones in Qatar as a base for the manufacture of electric buses, according to the chief executive of the authority regulating these zones.

This will be complemented by the establishment of a hub for assembly, distribution and storage of port equipment, said Qatar Free Zone Authority CEO Lim Meng Hui.

He said the electric buses would not only cater to Qatar, but also to other markets along China’s belt and road initiative that aims to revive trade routes in Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

“Qatar can play a role in supporting the infrastructure development along the belt and road markets,” Hui said.

In January, QFZA signed three deals with leading Chinese entities including CHEC, which is planning to cooperate with the overseas arm of its parent company China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) on potential investments in Qatar Free Zones. 

Hui also said a “good line up” of world-class companies in sectors ranging from petrochemicals to food were in various stages of discussion to set up bases in Qatar’s free zones.

“We have been receiving applications since January,” said Qatar Free Zone Authority CEO Lim Meng Hui, adding that QFZA was in the process of evaluating their business plans in terms of what they can offer to the Qatari economy.

 

Hui said one of the authority’s immediate strategies was driven towards building capabilities in four key sectors — logistics, petrochemicals, healthcare and food
While Qatar’s heavy investments in the Hamad International Airport and the Hamad Sea Port make logistics an obvious choice, he said petrochemicals offer “opportunities to do more”.

The new emerging areas in healthcare in Qatar is equally promising and so is the food sector, he added.

Hui said QFZA was keen on tapping Qatar’s good relations with Germany, France, Italy and Spain in Europe and China, Japan, Korea, Pakistan and India in Asia to draw more countries to the free zones here.

“The authority is also keen to engage with Latin America and US,” he added.

Hui was speaking on the sidelines of the “Back 2 Business” networking event organised by business councils of a host of countries including Italy, Germany, Turkey and Spain among others in Qatar.

Launched in 2004, Back 2 Business is a billed as the most popular business networking event of Qatar, engaging more than 500 participants every year.

The event draws senior executives, diplomats and entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors such as construction, oil and gas, logistics and hospitality and provides them an innovative platform that facilitates communication.

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