The relations between the State of Qatar and the French Republic are based on solid foundations of mutual respect, common interests and cooperation in various field to ensure a better tomorrow for the present and future generations.
The two friendly countries are bound by a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding that include the economic, political, cultural, scientific, academic and technical fields as well as military agreements.
The meeting of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and HE President of the friendly French Republic Emmanuel Macron which was held on Sunday in Paris comes to enhance the existing friendly relations and joint cooperation between the two countries and ways to support and develop them in various fields.
HH the Amir and HE the French President discussed the most prominent regional and international developments of mutual concern and reviewed viewpoints on them.
HH the Amir's talks with HE the French President inaugurate a new phase of the relations of cooperation and coordination between the two countries, as HH's visit to the French capital is the first after HE President Emmanuel Macron's victory for a second presidential term.
HH the Amir's visit also is of great importance as it coincided with the successive international developments on more than one level and the fluctuations in the energy markets, raw materials and foodstuffs, a matter that requires communication and consultation at the highest levels between the two friendly countries in order to strengthen the relations and advance them towards broader horizons for the good and interest of the two friendly countries and peoples.
The relations between the two countries date back to 1971. Last year, the two sides celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of relations when the first embassy of the State of Qatar was opened in Paris in 1971.
The recent years have witnessed a strong boost to the relations between the two countries, especially since the visit of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to France in September, 2017, in addition to the continuous growth of relations since the early 1990s in various fields.
The relations between the two countries have been strengthened and expanded in recent years as a result of the successive meetings of the leaderships of the two countries and the mutual visits of senior officials as well as the political, economic, trade and investment delegations between Doha and Paris. This reflected the common visions, interests and the convergence of views between the two countries on regional and international issues, as well as their strong strategic cooperation in the fields of economy, investment, defense and combating terrorism.
In the context of the continuous consultations between the leaderships of the two countries, HE President Emmanuel Macron visited Doha last December, during which he was received by HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. They discussed the relations of the friendship and cooperation between the two countries and ways to enhance them in various fields, especially the economic, investment, defense, security, educational and development fields in a way that achieves the mutual interests of the two friendly countries.
During the talks, opinions and views were exchanged on a number of issues of common interest at the regional and international levels, especially the latest developments in the region.
During the visit, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of economy and finance and a letter of intent on cultural cooperation. In addition a joint communique was issued regarding the two countries' most beautiful stances towards bilateral cooperation in various sectors and current international issues of common interest. The communique reiterated HE the French President's thanks to HH the Amir for the great assistance provided by the State of Qatar in evacuating the French nationals and their families from Afghanistan and in protecting the Afghans at risk. HE the President also praised the close cooperation between the two countries to deliver 40 tons of urgent aid to the Afghan capital, Kabul, on a Qatari flight.
HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and HE President of the friendly French Republic Emmanuel Macron are keen to continue strengthening the two countries' cooperation in the economic field, especially since many Qatari and French companies have long-term partnerships in key sectors, in addition to the two sides' agreement to strengthen institutional cooperation between them in the agricultural sector and find new means to finance projects, such as public-private partnerships.
The two countries' leaderships expressed their desire to expand this cooperation into new areas such as innovation and the transition to the renewable and clean energy, especially within the framework of the economic diversification goals as set out in the Qatar National Vision 2030, and in cooperation with the "France 2030" economic plan which depends on technology, healthcare and climate by moving towards the use of eco-friendly electric cars and other sectors with innovative technology.
Both sides made sport as a major area of cooperation, as they agreed to explore new partnerships in this field, especially since the two countries will host two major sport events, the FIFA World Cup 2022 in the State of Qatar and the Olympic Games 2024 in Paris.
In embodiment of the political will of the leaderships of the two countries to upgrade and develop these relations to a level that serves the interests of the two friendly peoples, the first round of the strategic dialogue between the two countries was held in Doha in March. During the round, the two sides discussed a number of political and economic issues and developments in the international arena, in addition to issues of common interest, including Chadian reconciliation, political developments in Lebanon and Afghanistan, the Palestinian cause, developments in Libya, and the Iranian nuclear file, as well as the need for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine and respect for international law and international humanitarian law during this crisis.
France is one of Qatars most important strategic partners, as the number of French companies operating in the country has reached 418 companies, including 120 companies wholly-owned by the French side, 290 companies established in partnership with the Qatari side, 8 companies licensed by the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), and three representative offices of the French Republic.
According to the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA), intra-regional trade between Qatar and France amounted to more than QR 6.3 billion in 2021, of which QR 2.85 billion were imports focused on aircraft requirements, textiles, clothing and agricultural products, while Qatar's exports amounted to nearly QR 3.5 billion, most of them in the field of gas and energy products.
French companies continue to participate in the renaissance witnessed by the State of Qatar and in achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030, as their work is concentrated in projects related to the infrastructure of the facilities and stadiums of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. There are also long-term projects between QatarEnergy and France's TOTAL, as well as many other projects, such as desalination.
France is one of the preferred destinations for Qatari investors abroad. These investments is estimated at about USD 30 billion, including private investments amounting to USD 10 billion, and cover the sectors of energy, real estate, media, hotels, financial services, transportation, communications and sport.
France is one of the founding members of the European Union, and has the largest area among the countries of the Union. It also has the second-largest economy in the EU and the fifth in the world, and has the second largest market in the European continent with a population estimated at about 67 million people. It is the first tourist destination in the world, as it received some 90 million tourists annually before the Covid-19 pandemic.