Germany and Qatar: Bilateral relations

19.05.2021 - Article

Qatar’s strong engagement in foreign policy makes it an important partner for Germany on numerous regional political issues. A large number of high‑level visits in both directions reflect the good cooperation between the two countries. The Emir of Qatar last visited Germany in September 2018.

Germany and Qatar enjoy excellent trade relations. German exports to Qatar were worth around 1.1 billion euro in 2020, and German imports from Qatar approximately 300 million euro. Motor vehicles, aircraft, plant and machinery top the list of German exports to the country. German companies are mainly active in plant construction, energy generation, the building industry, the service sector and the transport infrastructure sector. A German‑Qatari Joint Economic Commission was set up in 2017 to promote economic cooperation. It last met in February 2019.

Qatar is one of the largest foreign investors in Germany and has significant holdings in companies including Volkswagen, Deutsche Bank, Siemens and Hapag-Lloyd. Qatar has announced further major investment in Germany for the years to come.

The German International School Doha opened its doors at the beginning of the 2008‑2009 school year and has offered instruction leading to the German Mixed-Language International Baccalaureate (GIB) since 2016, enabling holders to study at a university in Germany. The school has an integrated kindergarten. German was introduced as an optional subject at a state secondary school in Qatar for the first time in the 2013‑2014 school year. These two schools are both members of the Schools: Partners for the Future (PASCH) initiative.

In the scientific and academic sphere, cooperation agreements are in place between higher education institutions in Qatar and Germany. The German Archaeological Institute has conducted exploratory missions in Qatar since 2012. Relations in the area of sports focus on football and table tennis as well as on Qatar’s sports academy Aspire, which has Germans on its staff. The FIFA World Cup will take place in Qatar in the winter of 2022.

In 2017, Germany and Qatar held a bilateral cultural year (German Season in Qatar). The event featured a wide‑ranging programme of exhibitions and dialogue events designed to promote mutual exchange, especially in art, culture and sport.

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