Portugal can be strategic platform for Qatar in Europe, CPLP

  • Lusa
  • 20 October 2022

"I believe that Portugal can be a strategic platform for Qatar, not only in European terms, but also via (...) the CPLP," said the chairman of the Forum Portugal Qatar.

The founder and chairman of the Forum Portugal Qatar has said in an interview with Lusa that “Portugal can be a strategic platform for Qatar,” not only in European terms but also via integration of projects with the CPLP community.

“I believe that Portugal can be a strategic platform for Qatar, not only in European terms, but also via integration of investment and economic projects with the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries),” says Nuno Anahory, one month before the start of the 2022 World Cup, which will take place for the first time in an Arab country and at the end of the year.

Qatar is the “biggest world ‘player’ in terms of production and distribution of gas,” stresses the chairman of the Forum Portugal Qatar.

“I had the opportunity to discuss this issue when I was in Qatar in March, precisely about the opportunity for Portugal to be a strategic ‘hub’ for entry and storage of LNG [Liquefied Natural Gas] gas that comes from Qatar,” that is, “through a ‘pipeline’ that could be built” in the country of access to Europe, continues the founder of the association that aims to boost economic relations between the two countries.

However, “there are some political constraints between Portugal, Spain and France that are being discussed within the European Union,” but “without doubt Qatar has every interest,” he said.

Nuno Anahory noted the recent visits by the Emir of Qatar to Spain and Germany and hoped that something similar would happen in Portugal in the near future.

Qatar wants to establish itself “as a country that condemns the military situation of war that Russia is waging on Ukraine and wants to play an increasingly active role in the energy issue in Europe,” he said, noting that, in that sense, “the deepwater port of Sines is a key gateway to Europe.

The president of Forum Portugal Qatar (FQP) recalls that in 2021, Qatar “was approved as the first Middle Eastern state as an associated observer of the CPLP and this demonstrates a strategic vision” of Doha “for the Portuguese-speaking world,” with “all that this represents in terms of opportunities in various sectors of activity.

After this decision “there have already been missions to some African countries” and “I believe that here also Portugal can follow this effective interest of having the first Middle Eastern country as an associated observer in the CPLP,” he points out.

“I would like to invite and challenge companies from Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking world to look to Qatar as a platform to be able to establish their businesses and be able to work for the entire Gulf area, for that entire area of the Middle East or the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council],” he says.

In terms of economic legislation, he stresses, Doha “has adapted” in terms of “attracting investment,” he adds, noting that, “at the moment, for example, it is already possible for a Portuguese company, a Portuguese businessman to own 100% of the capital” of the company that will open in Qatar.

Then, “there are a series of tax incentives for financing that are very attractive for companies that want to be present in these markets and in that geography,” he adds.

The final phase of the World Cup will be played in exactly one month, between November 20 and December 18, Qatar’s national day, by 32 teams.

Portugal is in Group H of the competition, along with Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana.