Pandas sent by China arrive in Qatar ahead of World Cup, as well as other products and services from the country of 11.2m residents
Qatar has become the latest destination for products and services from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as the nation celebrates the Olympic Games, which start from June 6 to 27.
Many of the products are made in China, which accounts for the vast majority of exports to the Middle East region for the first time in history, and in 2017 China became the largest trading partner for Qatar in the region.
Qatar has traditionally used its ports to trade in its own currency – the riyal – but the country will allow the riyal to be sold in euros and other foreign currencies for the first time, and in effect adopt a floating exchange rate regime.
A new website has been designed to help businesses obtain the necessary permits and licensing in time for the games, but Qatar’s deputy commerce minister, Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, said on Sunday that the government was “still evaluating the new procedures”.
It was not immediately known what the riyal will trade in. Qatar has been working to create an electronic trading system for the riyal, but has not yet made any announcement as to when it would be fully automated.
After Qatar was announced as a preferred location for the 2022 World Cup, the country announced that it had granted four air carriers access to the country’s airports to carry visitors, including Qatari Airways, which currently has a single daily service between New York and Doha.
The decision to accept the carriers was taken “with due consideration of their technical and commercial capabilities and their ability to meet the needs of the country”, Qatar’s minister of transport, Ashour Al Zaabi, said in a statement.
Qatar has also said it would grant the US$1bn (£737m) US Airways bill to pay for the aircraft carrier’s participation as it seeks to make the most of its new status as a non-commercial commercial aviation company.
“We are ready to receive these new flights,” said Al Zaabi. “We welcome the US$1bn contract.”
Air Qatar has been selected as one of three international airlines to carry out this service. Qatar Airways and its partner IAG will be carrying out flights from New York