Web posted at: 6/23/2009 2:54:47
Source ::: BY NASSER AL HARTHY
DOHA: Ongoing discussions to bring the prestigious French business school — Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) — and the French Institute of Petroleum (Instiut Francais du Petrole) to operate in the Education City here are expected to get a boost with the visit of the Emir, H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned to Paris.
Meanwhile, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the French Embassy here said yesterday that Qatari-French relations had been steadily growing.
The two countries are increasingly focussing to bolster ties in other fields as well, including research, culture and arts. French energy giant Total has already set up a research centre at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).
French imports from Qatar rose by a significant 252 percent while exports fell a bit last year mainly due to delays in deliveries of Airbus planes. Aircraft sales accounted for 29 percent of French exports to Qatar last year. However, future deliveries are expected to reverse the trend.
French firms in Qatar cover a wide range of sectors and their number currently estimated at over 40 has been increasing steadily. Areva, for instance is a world-leading company in nuclear energy, while Veolia is specialised in a range of waste management services and water treatment.