Sweden has announced aims to increase its cooperation and launch partnerships with Qatar on internationalisation strategies and fintech developments, during a trade visit taking place this week.
A series of special meetings are being conducted in Qatar this week, to “foster dialogue, mutual cooperation and trade between Qatar and Sweden”, after the embassy of Sweden in Qatar arranged for a visiting programme with the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) and a delegation of startup and business representatives.
Ambassador Ewa Polano, speaking in an interview published today by the Gulf Times, said that a meeting between SCC chief executive Maria Rankka and chief economist Andreas Hatzigeorgiou and Omar Hussain Alfardan, president and CEO of the Alfardan Group, had already taken place.
The SCC is also expected to meet with Tarik Yousef, director of Brookings Doha Centre; Youssef al-Jaidah, CEO of Qatar Financial Centre; and with officials of the Qatar Chamber. The group also met Abdulla al-Mehshadi, CEO of Msheireb Properties, and Egbert Shillings, CEO of the World Innovation Summit on Health, among others.
Polano told the Gulf Times that the chamber’s visit aims to create strategic partnerships between the two countries in two key areas.
“First, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce has followed and is strongly impressed by Qatar’s internationalisation strategy,” Polana said. “Qatar’s successes in education, mega events, and elsewhere have made it an international role model with which the chamber wishes to cooperate.
“Stockholm is currently making a concise effort to develop such an internationalisation strategy, and see Qatar as a future partner for knowledge sharing in these areas. Secondly, the chamber would like to make connections with local decision makers to find areas of potential future cooperation, especially within the fintech and startup sectors, but also on sustainable urban development,” she said.
Shift from oil and gas
Qatar’s plans to shift from oil and gas dependency into a diversified economy and a knowledge-based society, relies on a “triple helix approach” between the government, education, and private sectors. Polano says a similar approach has been successful in launching Sweden from the depths of poverty one hundred years ago, to the top of economic and social indexes today.
“I am thoroughly impressed by the great strides Qatar has made towards this goal already, and by the high ambitions of the Qatari leadership, laid out in the Qatar National Vision 2030. Because of our shared reliance on this triple helix approach, Qatar and Sweden are natural partners for the road ahead,” Polano added.