Portugal “can be strategic platform for Qatar in Europe”
Photo taken on inception of Portugal Qatar Forum: PM Costa with Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

Portugal “can be strategic platform for Qatar in Europe”

Founder and chairman of Forum Portugal Qatar talks one month before start of World Cup

The founder and ‘chairman’ of the Forum Portugal Qatar has said in 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 (of Portuguese speaking countries).

“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,” said Nuno Anahory, one month before the start of the 2022 World Cup, taking place for first time in an Arab country.

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

“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 for access to Europe.

The leader of the forum, set up to boost economic relations between Portugal and Qatar admitted “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” in the project. The Emir of Qatar has, for example, visited Spain and Germany recently. A similar visit to Portugal could also be on the cards, suggested Nuno Anahory.

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 added, promoting the notion that Sines’ “the deepwater port is a key gateway to Europe”.

Anahory also stressed how 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”, he said.

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.

“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)”.

In terms of economic legislation,  Nuno Anahory stressed, Doha “has adapted” in terms of “attracting investment”: “at the moment, for example, it is already possible for a Portuguese company, a Portuguese businessman to own 100% of the capital” of a company 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”.

The final phase of the World Cup will be played in exactly one month, between November 20 and December 18, by 32 teams. Portugal is in Group H of the competition, along with Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana.