THE EMIRATE'S LONG-STANDING TIES WITH THE WEST "CEMENT" TODAY'S MAJOR INVESTMENT DEALS
E. O. KASAEV
MGIMO (U) student of the Russian Foreign Ministry
Qatar Keywords:, Europe, energy, turnover, trade, investment, LNG
Today, the Asian sector is definitely a priority area of Qatar's foreign economic policy. However, Doha is also trying to gain a foothold in other regional areas, including Europe.
Despite the fact that due to temporary financial difficulties, the Emirate has suspended the implementation of more than half of foreign projects (mainly in the EU and the United States), leaving only those for which agreements have already been signed with foreign counterparties, in the future, we should expect growth in the Qatari treasury, as Doha's line for a significant increase in hydrocarbon exports continues. Having constantly growing revenues from the sale of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on foreign markets, the country intends to invest large financial resources in promising projects of European countries, since inside Qatar itself the investment potential is almost exhausted due to the small size of the state's territory and relatively small population.
Qatar has long maintained a high level of bilateral relations with the United Kingdom*; there is an intensive political dialogue between the two countries. Only in the first half of 2011. Prime Minister David Cameron, Minister of State for Energy David Howell, Archbishop of Canterbury R. Williams, Minister of State for Defence L. Fox, Lord Mayor of London M. Beer, Minister of Business and Enterprise M. Prisk visited Doha. In turn, the Emir of Qatar H. Al Thani in October 2010 made a state visit to the UK.
On the one hand, close relations with London significantly increase the emirate's political weight in the region and compensate for its relative geopolitical weakness. On the other hand, while supporting Doha's active foreign policy and its peacekeeping efforts in Lebanon, Yemen and the Horn of Africa, the UK views Qatar as an important political and economic partner in the Persian Gulf. In economic terms, Qatar is of interest to the British as the most important supplier of hydrocarbons, importer of high technologies and the largest investor in British real estate. By the way, it was British companies that were at the origins of Qatari oil production. In 1935, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company discovered oil fields in Qatar and entered into the first concession agreement with the Emirate. In 1952, a subsidiary of the Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell was granted permission to produce oil on the shelf.
According to the British Ambassador to Qatar, David Hawkins, the trade turnover between the two countries in 2010 amounted to $4.8 billion, and by 2015 it is expected to grow to $12 billion.1 The main share of Qatari exports is mainly made up of hydrocarbons, while imports are made up of mechanical engineering products and other industrial goods.
The most important component of bilateral economic relations is energy cooperation, especially in the supply of Qatari LNG to England. As a leader among all countries that consume this valuable raw material, the United Kingdom imported 10 million tons of LNG from the Emirate in 2010, which provided 15% of the country's total gas needs.2 By 2017, it is planned to increase this figure to 30%, and by 2025 - to 50%. There are prerequisites for this.
In May 2009, in Milford Haven, in the presence of Emir Kh. Al Thani and Queen Elizabeth II opened one of the world's most advanced LNG terminals, South Hook, with a capacity of 15.6 million tons per year. It was built by the joint efforts of Qatar Petroleum (67.5% of the estimated cost of the facility), Exxon-Mobile (24.15%) and Total (8.35%)3.
During David Cameron's official visit to Doha in February 2011, a three-year agreement was signed.
* The British have dominated the country since the mid-19th century. In 1916, the Emir of Qatar was forced to sign a protectorate treaty with Great Britain, which consolidated the de facto colonial rule of the British. Qatar gained full independence from Great Britain only in 1971.
** The positions of Doha and London on the events in Libya have become particularly close. Qatar, like the United Kingdom, recognized the National Transitional Council of Libya.
an agreement between Katargaz and Centrica, the parent company of British Gas and the largest supplier of blue fuel to the UK, for the supply of 2.4 million tons of LNG annually. The transaction amount was about $3.25 billion. Qatari LNG will be received at the Isle of Grain terminal (with a capacity of 14.8 million tons per year), located near London 4.
British firms are widely represented in the energy, construction, financial, telecommunications and some other sectors of the Qatari economy.
British Petroleum (formerly an Anglo-Iranian oil company) Both independently and through its subsidiaries, it is active in the Emirate, working closely with the state-owned Qatar Petroleum Company, which holds a monopoly position in the Qatari oil and gas industry. One of the subsidiaries of British Petroleum Castrol supplies fuel and lubricants to the Qatari fuel company Vukud. In addition, British Petroleum is interested in introducing solar energy technologies in Qatar, which is being lobbied at the state level in Doha*.
The Anglo-Dutch company Shell is involved in the construction of the world's largest enterprise for the production of liquid gas fuel - Pearl, worth $18-19 billion. and the fourth LNG production line of Qatargas (Qatargas 4). The first production at the Pearl plant was received in 2011, and during this year it is planned to bring it to full capacity.5
In November 2006, Shell signed a contract to provide marine and transportation services to Nakilat, the Qatari monopoly operator of linear LNG transportation, and in June 2007, it entered into an agreement with Qatar Petroleum International on a strategic partnership in the global energy market. In the process of implementing this document, both sides started evaluating the joint project for the construction of a petrochemical complex in China. Later, in 2006 and 2007, Shell signed two more large-scale contracts with Qatari firms.
In December 2011, Shell signed an agreement with Qatar Petroleum to build an oil refinery in Ras Laffan. The transaction is expected to be finalized in 2012-2013, and the refineries will be put into commercial operation in 2017. The contract value is $6.4 billion.6
Thus, the tanker fleet, as well as the oil refining industry of Qatar, are actually managed by the British "giant", which, among other things, takes part in the implementation of the Qatar Science and Technology Park project with an investment of $100 million. Within the framework of this project, the Qatar-Shell Research and Technology Center7 was established.
In the last decade, Atkins, an English construction company, has made significant progress in Qatar, and in 2004 developed a preliminary design of the main hangar at Doha International Airport. One of her notable achievements is her participation in the design and construction of an 875-hectare Educational Campus, which continues to this day. Among the main projects of Atkins in the Emirate are the headquarters of the Supreme Council of Education, the National Data Storage Center "Thier-4", the new building of a large hotel" Ramada", the country's largest road and transport interchange near the city of Dukhan. In the summer of 2011, the company won a tender for the design of the Qatar branch of the English private school "Sherborne" 8.
An English construction heavyweight Corillon has opened a representative office in Qatar, which intends to get the right to implement leading infrastructure projects in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in this country.Many English architects and civil engineers work in Qatar under private contracts.
The British bank HSBC has been a leader in Qatar's financial sector for almost 60 years, opening 5 branches across the country. In addition to providing traditional financial services, this bank serves as an official financial adviser to the Kahrama Water and Electricity Company and the Katofin petrochemical complex under construction, as well as finances major real estate and infrastructure projects. In 2010, the Qatari branch of the bank won first place in the category" Best Corporate Internet Bank "according to the international business publication Global Finance, 9 as well as the title"Best Bank in the Middle East in the field of cash management "according to Euromani.10 This bank is considered one of the largest British investors in the emirate's economy.
The world's largest mobile operator in terms of revenue - the British company Vodafone-has become the second largest mobile operator in the country after the state monopoly Qatar Telecom. The main partner of the company in the Qatari market is the state fund "Qatar Foundation". In 2010, the services of the British firm were used by 20% of subscribers, and the company received the exclusive right to conduct telephone communication and Internet in the area of the artificial Pearl Island, which was largely facilitated by the friendly relations between the management of Vodafone Group and the Qatari ruling Al Thani family.
Thus, reputable British business structures
* For more information, see: Kasaev E. O. Russia and Qatar: Partnership Prospects // Strategy of Russia. 2011. N 11. pp. 53-54.
They are seriously entrenched in the Qatari market, which allows them to count on the successful implementation of their multidisciplinary activities in the emirate. Many English companies expect to become winners of the next Qatari auctions for the right to participate in the implementation of various major projects, not without reason.
In turn, Doha is no less active in the English economy. For example, taking advantage of the consequences of the global financial crisis and the depreciation of the pound sterling, Qataris are actively buying up the most prestigious London real estate. The Qatari Statistics Office estimates that in 2009, the UK accounted for 36.4% of the Emirate's total foreign investment, amounting to about $10 billion. In addition, it became known that Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), plans to increase its stake in the largest British real estate company Songbird Real Estate from 14.8% to 30% (which will cost $450 million) and thus become the largest real estate company in the world. its largest shareholder.
The investment consortium, which includes Qatar National Bank, Qatar Islamic Bank, Kyoinvest and Barwa Real Estate, owns 80% of the shares.?150 million for London's Shard of Glass skyscraper, which will be the tallest building in the European Union when completed in 201211.
KUI acquired a 27% stake in Sainsbury's, which owns a chain of stores. Barva Real Estate has bought the Park House office and residential complex under construction in London's prestigious Mayfair district.?250 million rubles. In May 2010, the Egyptian billionaire M. Al-Fayyad sold the luxury Harrods department store he owned to Qatar Holding for ?1.5 billion 12.
KUI is the owner of a 20% stake in the Chelsifield real estate business group and plans to redevelop a number of old London mansions, including the former US Embassy building in Grosvenor Square.?500 million rubles, to premium hotels. Prime Minister of Qatar H. E. Bin Jassim Al Thani purchased a penthouse worth ?135 million in the exclusive residential complex "One Hyde Park", which is located in South Kensington 13. A consortium consisting of Katari Diar and the British real estate development company Delancey will co-own the Olympic village in East London after the 2012 Olympic Games.?557 million ($906 million)14.
Qatari investments in London real estate in recent years are estimated at a total of $16 billion, which, according to Qatari media, allows Qataris to proudly refer to the acquired property as "Londoha".
Thus, the situation is very favorable for the British, in which the cost of buying LNG is returned back to the UK in the form of Qatari investments in infrastructure and real estate.
Qatari capital is also successfully operating in the British financial market. In particular, representatives of the Emirate bought 20% of the shares of the London Stock Exchange, and Qatar Holding acquired a significant part of the shares of Barclays Bank, and remains its largest shareholder, despite the fact that it sold part of the 15 shares. According to some reports, Qatar plans to buy out state-owned shares in the partially nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyd's Banking Group by the British government.
In October 2011, Qatar Holding provided a seven-year loan of $750 million to the British gold mining company Eurasian Goldfields. In exchange, the Qataris received an option to buy 15% of the company's shares.16 At the same time, Qatar Holding already owns 9.9% of the shares of European Goldfields and an option to buy another 5% of the shares. If the Qatari side exercises all its options, it will become the largest shareholder of the British firm17.
In fairness, it should be emphasized that the high volume and positive dynamics of Qatari investment in the British economy is largely due to the Anglo-Saxon dominant represented by numerous advisers and consultants working in almost all major companies in Doha. British and American experts play a crucial role in making investment decisions in both countries. For example, the expediency and effectiveness of Qatari investments in London real estate were evaluated by former employees of English companies currently working in KUI, Katari Diar and Qatar Holding.
Business relations between Qatar and Germany have been actively developing relatively recently. Having established close trade, economic and political ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Berlin since the late 1990s began to pay more attention to Qatar, which attracted Germans primarily for its huge hydrocarbon reserves, as well as its important role as an international mediator in regional conflicts. Currently, the two countries have strong political and economic relations. At the same time, Berlin considers Doha as the most promising partner in the economic sphere among the countries of the Council of the Commonwealth of Arab States of the Persian Gulf (GCC)*.
Between the countries of implementation-
* A regional closed international organization established on May 25, 1981 to coordinate cooperation and integration of its member countries in various fields. It consists of: Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
There is a constant "reconciliation of hours" on the main issues of the international and regional agenda: the Middle East settlement, the situation in Iraq and Yemen, Afghanistan, the problem of the Iranian nuclear dossier. On April 13, 2011, German Foreign Minister G. Westerwelle took part in a meeting of the Contact Group on Libya in Doha, organized with the active participation of the Qatari leadership. In turn, Doha seeks attention from this influential European power on many key issues of its foreign policy, understanding the importance of Germany for maintaining a constant dialogue with the rest of the EU.
German-Qatari political contacts at the highest level significantly intensified in 2010-2011 as part of Berlin's overall strategy aimed at strengthening ties with the "Arab Six"countries. During these two years, Chancellor A visited Doha. Merkel, President Karl Wulff, President of the Bundestag Nikolai Lammert and Foreign Minister Georgy Westerwelle. Emir X paid return visits to Germany. Al-Thani, Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Bin Jassim Al Thani and Deputy Prime Minister A. Al-Attiyah.
A high level of political dialogue has become the basis for strong bilateral economic ties. In 2010, the trade turnover between Doha and Berlin was $ 1.67 billion. 18. Qatar exports LNG, oil and petrochemical products to this country, while importing consumer goods, steel, automobiles, and electrical equipment. There are 10 large German companies operating in the emirate. There is a Qatari-German business council, which includes many influential Emirati entrepreneurs.
Being the world's 4th largest importer of hydrocarbon products (after the United States, Japan and Italy), Germany assesses the importance of the emirate as a state with the third largest gas reserves in the world (after Russia and Iran). Questions about the supply of Qatari LNG were discussed during the visits of A. Al-Attiyah to Berlin and K. Wolf to Doha, during which the parties almost reached an agreement on the import of this raw material; only the issue of logistics remained unresolved. Apparently, at the initial stage, the Germans intend to use the receiving facilities in the Dutch port of Rotterdam 19. However, in the future, Germany plans to launch its own regasification terminals in Wilhelmshaven and Rostock 20.
German businesses are active in Qatar's oil and gas sector. In particular, Wintershall, the largest oil and gas producer, has been engaged in geological exploration on the Qatari shelf since 1997. GEA Group won a tender for the supply of high-tech air conditioners for the oil and gas industry in 2007. In 2008, the German chemical heavyweight Sud-Chemi signed a contract for the construction of a catalyst plant for gas liquefaction and the production of gas condensate in Mesaid 21.
One of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the Middle East is the construction of a railway network in Qatar. In November 2009, the German company Deutsche Bahn and Katari Diar signed a contract for the construction of railways and metro lines in Doha. Steel lines are planned to become part of the unified railway network of the GCC countries in the future. This railway network will have not only logistical, but also strategic importance, as it will actually connect the main centers of oil and gas production with consumers in the West, which will "neutralize" Iran's alleged actions in the event of a military conflict in the region-to block the Strait of Hormuz, through which the main traffic of hydrocarbons from the Gulf countries is currently carried out. Qatar Railways Development Company has already been established with a capital of $100 million, which will build railways in the Emirate starting in 2013. Their total value is estimated at approximately $25 billion.22
According to Qatar's Finance Minister Y. Kamal, in the near future, Doha intends to invest billions of dollars in the German economy, primarily in the IT sector, as well as in a number of German enterprises.23 This process is already underway. For example, in December 2010, the Emirate significantly expanded its presence in Germany, announcing after the visit of Prime Minister X. Bin Jassim Al Thani on Qatar Holding's $534 million acquisition of a 9.1% stake in a major German construction firm, Hochtief, to save it from a" hostile takeover "by Spain's ABC News 24.
Note that Hohtif has been active in the Emirate since 200625. In particular, together with the Qatari Barva, the German company is implementing a project for the construction of a large-scale shopping complex with a total cost of $1.7 billion. In May 2010, a joint venture was created for this purpose, in which the German company owns 49% of the shares.26
Bilfinger-Berger, a German construction company, signed a $4.89 billion contract with Barva in 2007. for the construction of a large residential complex. However, in 2009, the company faced problems with the implementation of another project-the construction of highways in the Emirate. For unknown reasons, the Qatari side did not fulfill its obligations and owed the Germans a large sum.
In the industrial sector, German business in Qatar is represented by Thyssenkrupp AG, which in October 2007 won a tender for the equipment of elevators and passenger teletraps at Doha Airport, the Tornado Tower 27 high-rise building (where the headquarters of the international organization of the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries is located), and for the construction of non - commercial buildings in Qatar.-
which properties are located in the Lucile City residential complex.
The Germans are helping Qatar develop its electricity industry. Since 2005, a branch of Siemens has been operating in the Emirate, which in 2006 won a contract for the production of electrical cables for Kahrama, the Qatari monopoly in the electricity market, worth 700 million euros. In addition, in April 2010, with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister A. Al-Attiyah, a contract was signed for the development of a high-voltage power transmission network in Qatar worth 600 million rubles. Euro 28. Q Tel, a Qatari mobile operator, has entered into an agreement with Siemens for the supply of high-tech laboratory equipment for the North Atlantic College in Qatar 29.
Doha has high hopes for cooperation with Berlin in the use of solar and various types of renewable energy. In particular, the Qatari side, with the participation of German companies, plans to build a plant in Ras Laffan for the production of polysilicon, a material used for the manufacture of solar panels. In 2010, Qatar Foundation (70% share in the project) and Qatar Development Bank (1%) signed a plan for the construction of a research and production facility with a total cost of $500 million with the leading German company for the development of solar energy technologies Solar World (29%). The plant is expected to have a capacity of 3.6 thousand tons of polysilicon per year. Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2012 30
In addition, Solar World is also interested in building a solar power plant in Qatar. The project cost is estimated at $1 billion 31.
German President Karl Wulff, while on an official visit to Doha in February 2011, in a conversation with the Emir of Qatar, H. Al Thani said that economic relations between Berlin and Doha "are at a very good level", and also expressed the hope that further increasing the presence of German businesses in the emirate will help to further strengthen business ties.32 In turn, Qatar's Ambassador to Germany A. Khuleifi noted that the emirate has many industries open to foreign investors, and therefore "a larger German representative office" in Doha is welcome.33
During the global financial crisis, Arabian investors literally saved many German companies from bankruptcy. Prime Minister of Qatar H. E. Bin Jassim Al Thani has repeatedly stressed the high efficiency of investing the financial resources accumulated by the Qataris in foreign projects, including German ones. In addition, he spoke very clearly in favor of strengthening bilateral economic and investment cooperation.34 In June 2009, German Secretary of State for Economic Affairs B. Pfaffenbach visited Doha. During the talks with representatives of the CUI, he mentioned possible areas of Qatari investment in the German economy. These are renewable energy sources, chemical, automotive, aerospace and medical industries.
Qatar Holding has already acquired a 10% stake in the Porsche automobile group*, as well as options to purchase 17% of the Volkswagen Group's ordinary shares. Thanks to this transaction, the Emirate became the second largest investor in the European automobile industry among the GCC members. In addition, Doha plans to expand its presence in these "mastodons", investing a total of more than $ 7 billion in them. euro 35.
It is noteworthy that the focus of wealthy Qataris on buying shares in large European companies is so strong that sometimes they run ahead of the locomotive, giving out wishful thinking. For example, KUI actively positions itself as an investor in the Dutch-German-French-Spanish aerospace company IADS, although it is not officially listed as a shareholder.
Qatar is also interested in developing military-technical ties with Germany. In 2009, the emirate announced its intention to purchase 36 Leopard 2 tanks from this country, but the deal, apparently, has not yet taken place. Nevertheless, on October 19, 2010 in Qatar, at the training ground of the Ministry of Defense, in the presence of the Chief of the General Staff of the Qatari Armed Forces H. Al-Attiyah and the president of the German company KMB, a demonstration of samples of German military equipment, including Leopard 2A-7 tanks and PZH 2000 self-propelled guns, was held.
In addition to weapons, Doha is also interested in German technologies for Internet control and information security. In September 2010, during a visit to Berlin, Emir Kh. Al-Thani held talks with the Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Ministry of Defense K. Cooperation in the military and information security sectors 36.
The development of transport services contributes to the expansion of multifaceted economic and investment cooperation between the two countries. On July 8, 2010, the Qatari Civil Aviation Agency and the German Civil Aviation Agency signed an agreement to increase the number of flights to and from Germany from 21 to 35 per week. In addition, Qatar Airways has opened new offices in Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart in addition to the existing office in Frankfurt am Main, i.e. virtually all major international airports in Germany.
Currently, in shaping its policy towards the GCC countries, Berlin highly appreciates the importance of the growing number of GCC members.
* Moreover, the Qatari side is represented in the board of Directors, which, according to a representative of one of the company's owner families, V. Porsche, is a historic event, since for the first time in the almost 80 - year history of Porsche, a foreign investor entered it.
the political and economic potential of Qatar. Apparently, over time, Germany hopes to use the emirate as an important supplier of hydrocarbons in order to reduce its dependence on Russian energy resources. High hopes are also pinned on the investment potential of Doha, which, as noted above, is among the shareholders of major German automobile companies.
Apparently, Qatar's investment in Germany will only grow in the future. The Emirate is becoming an increasingly large importer of high-tech German technologies-from the military sphere to the use of solar energy. In addition, in Qatar, Berlin can find the most important market for its high-value know-how in the Middle East region. Germans are already present in almost all major sectors of the Qatari economy, and this presence will only expand in the future.
* * *
Thus, taking advantage of the serious financial difficulties faced by large foreign companies of the European Union countries, which have fallen into a difficult situation due to the global economic crisis, Qatar buys up impressive percentage shares of their assets. This gives Doha the opportunity not only to make profitable investments for the future, but also to gain a foothold in the markets of the Old World through cooperation with foreign players. The volume of Qatar's state reserve fund in 2010 reached about $110 billion, 37 which allows the emirate to continue to maintain great opportunities for investing in major international projects, as well as in buying shares of foreign companies and foreign assets. In the fall of 2011, analysts from the British audit firm Ernst & Young and the Oxford Economics Institute published the results of the "Fast-Growing Markets Forecast" study, where Qatar topped the rating of the fastest-growing markets in 2000-2010. with an average annual real GDP growth of 13%.
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