Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of the State of Qatar to Việt Nam Faisal Bakhit Al-Marri writes to Việt Nam News on the National Day of Qatar.
On Sunday the 18th of December, the State of Qatar celebrates the founding of the modern state of Qatar by late sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani in 1878.
This year, Qatar National Day comes in exceptional circumstances as it coincides with the country hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022. The celebration includes some 4,500 cultural and heritage activities within 24 days, promoting loyalty, solidarity, unity and pride in the national identity.
The State of Qatar has successfully managed to combat and control the COVID-19 pandemic, and as such, all economic and social activities have returned to normal and restrictions have been completely lifted, thanks to effective measures and policies taken by Qatari authorities.
Over the past two decades, the State of Qatar has continued to build its soft power by focusing on areas such as charitable work, humanitarian aid, conflict resolution and hosting sporting events with the largest and most recent one being the ongoing World Cup 2022, which is by far the culmination of Qatar’s soft power.
|Stadium 974: Constructed entirely from shipping containers and modular steel, it is the first fully demountable covered football stadium – showing Qatar’s commitment to cost-effective sustainability and daring design. Photo courtesy of the embassy|
On Sunday, November 20, FIFA World Cup's opening ceremony took place at Al Bayt Stadium with a dazzling display. The opening ceremony was elegant, showing the creativity of Qatari people. It’s the first time that the FIFA World Cup has been held in a Middle Eastern Arab Muslim country.
With all stadiums in close proximity, fans can travel from one stadium to another in no more than an hour using advanced transport systems such as metro, cars, bikes or even water taxis, making it the most linked and greenest FIFA World Cup ever. All accommodations, from budget to luxury hotels are also in close proximity to the tournament venues.
Indeed, the State of Qatar has leveraged the tournament as an opportunity to develop its core infrastructure and key economic sectors, and used the tournament to showcase its state-of-the-art transportation systems, world-class tourism and culinary experience, thriving arts and culture scenes, and its warm and generous hospitality.
With state-of-the-art technology, the State of Qatar has also amazed football fans around the world with its eight World Cup stadiums that are considered to be the most technologically advanced in the history of the World Cup.
After the tournament, the stadiums will be dismantled and donated to developing countries to improve their sports infrastructures. Hence, it is expected that about 22 new stadiums will be built in those countries.
Regarding the right to education, the State of Qatar made great achievements at all domestic, regional and international levels and it has become one of the leading countries in education transformation.
The State of Qatar has also been able to provide quality education to millions of children and youth in 65 countries through education programs and projects supported by the Qatar Fund for Development, especially in areas suffering from conflicts. The total support provided by the Fund to education amounted to nearly one billion US dollars during the last decade.
In addition, the country has made great strides towards achieving its National Vision 2030, which includes developing important areas such as education, health, environment, worker’s rights, women’s empowerment, children’s rights and the rights of persons with disabilities and the elderly.
Moreover, international credit rating agencies have confirmed Qatar’s credit rating with a stable positive outlook, which reflects the country’s full recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and its repercussions.
|FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 opening ceremony on November 20, 2022 at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar. Photo courtesy of the embassy|
Standard & Poor’s credit rating for the country stands at AA with a stable outlook, while Moody’s credit rating stands at Aa3 with a positive outlook. Fitch’s credit rating for Qatar stands at AA- with a stable outlook.
The State of Qatar is interested in further developing its bilateral relations with the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam. The two countries have been working together to develop relations in many fields, such as politics, economy and investment.
In this regard, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani visited Việt Nam in August 2022 to improve bilateral relations between the two countries. He met with Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn and discussed with them ways to promote bilateral relations in areas such as economics, investment, politics, renewable energy and agriculture, as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern.
During the visit, the two countries signed an agreement on visa exemptions for holders of diplomatic, official and special passports.
According to Qatar’s Planning and Statistics Authority, bilateral trade turnover during 2021 reached 1 billion and 545 million Qatari Riyal (US$423.3 million). Qatar’s exports to Việt Nam reached 656 million Qatari Riyal ($179.7 million), with main export items including plastics, aluminum, and miscellaneous chemical products. Meanwhile, imports from Việt Nam reached 889 million Qatari Riyal ($243.6 million), with main import items including electrical, electronic equipment, sheets of iron or steel, footwear, gaiters and the like. VNS