The year 2006 has witnessed outstanding achievements in Qatar on all political, economical and social levels, however, the most three important accomplishments from my point of view are: Firstly, the election of Qatar as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, representing the Asian Regional Group, starting from January 1st, 2006 for a two-years period. This came as an acknowledgment by the international community of the mature policies being undertaken by the State of Qatar, its active role to promote dialogue between cultures and religions to maintain peace and security and to build understanding and mutual trust among different nations. By gaining this seat, Qatar is bearing huge responsibilities for representing the Asian, Arab and Islamic groups.
In this context, I would like to renew our sincerest appreciation to the Government of Japan for lending us its support within the Asian Group and to make this happen. Secondly, the inauguration of the Oryx GTL (Gas to- Liquid) plant in June 6th, 2006, at Ras Laffan Industrial City, which is the world's largest GTL plant, in joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and South African- based petrochemical company Sasol Ltd, to produce about 34,000 barrels per day of liquids with future plan to increase its production by an extra 100.000 bpd.
In addition to this, Pearl GTL project was also launched in July by Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell, to produce 140.000 bpd of GTL products and another GTL project will be developed with ExxonMobil for daily production of 154000 barrel of GTL products, which will make the country's overall clean energy production to exceed 400.000 bpd.
This meritorious development came in line with Qatar's strategic plans to become the World's leading supplier of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) with total exports of 77 million tons of gas a year, and the World capital for gas technology by year of 2012. Here, I wish to hail the Japanese companies and consortiums that taking part in the construction of GTL plants, I also praise all our Japanese partners for their efforts and working diligently with us over the years. I further wish to invite other Japanese companies and businessmen from different sectors to visit Qatar to explore the abundant investment opportunities as the country embarks upon its commitments to invest over US$130 billion in oil, gas and infrastructure projects within the next 7 years.
Thirdly, the 15th Asian Games which will be hosted in Doha city during the period of 1- 15th, December 2006. The preparations for this milestone are going smoothly as planned, and the country is committed to make it a huge success and going beyond expectations. Over 45 countries and territories are participating in the event. Japan as an important and leading country in the international sport competitions, is expected to make a strong presence in the coming event by taking part in all 39 sports. An influx of Japanese visitors is expected to the country during the Asian Games and we hope that this event will provide a good opportunity to promote more understanding and friendship between the peoples of the two nations.
In conclusion, I want to extend my deep appreciation to all those who are contributing in developing and enhancing the existing friendly bonds between Qatar and Japan, and I assure them that we are committed to continue working closely together to pursue even stronger and expanded relations not only on economic front but also on all dimensions. I will end by expressing my profound gratitude to the Mainichi Daily News for giving me the opportunity to address its distinguished readers.
H.E. Reyad Ali Al-Ansari, Ambassador of the State of Qatar
MESSAGE FROM THE JAPAN-QATAR FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION
On behalf of Japan-Qatar Friendship Association, I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Heir Apparent, and the people of the State of Qatar on the occasion of their 35th National Day.
The official visit of His Highness the Emir and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned to Japan in June last year after an interval of six years and the great success of the Qatar Pavilion in the 2005 World Exposition Aichi are still vivid in the memory of the people of Japan and these occasions in 2005 impressed many people with the beginning of a new era in the history of the intimate relationship between Qatar and Japan.
Especially the city of Chita, which was given the honor of "Friendship City of Qatar" by the Expo Aichi 2005, had been bringing up close relation with Qatar for 2years before the Exposition. The Qatar National Day Ceremony on September 2, 2005 was held at the Expo Dome with a full audience of 3,000 persons including over 450 Chita citizens. "Al Qaffaal" Operetta performed by the Qatar National Dance Team fascinated many Japanese people and Japanese music pieces played by the Chita City Brass Band lent a glow to the ceremony.
The first remarkable development of civil exchanges between the people of Qatar and Japan was the support and hospitality of the Asa Community, under the Asian Friendship Project by the city of Hiroshima, for the athletes from Qatar who were participating in the 12th Asian Games held in Hiroshima in 1994. Ever since, many residents of the Asa Community have visited Qatar, and Asa has welcomed many important guests from Qatar.
The 15th Asian Games Doha 2006 will be held with more than 12,000 participants from 44 nations of Asia in December. I am convinced that Qatar and the City of Doha will carry out the very important role of the host country of this excellent event, because Qatar and the city of Doha have already organized many international sports events with great success, and that the Doha 2006 will be a unique opportunity and golden place where Asian people can cultivate friendship with one another.
Among Asian countries Japan is the most distant country from Qatar. However, Qatar and Japan have succeeded in establishing a most intimate relationship with each other. I believe firmly that our two friendly countries will make our excellent and particular relationship more developed and more prosperous in every field.
Finally, I sincerely hope that the State of Qatar will continue its prosperity and development under superior leadership of His Highness the Emir.
Tohru Tsuji, Chairman, Japan-Qatar Friendship Association
QATAR ON THE MOVE
The State of Qatar is ongoing through an unprecedented phase of comprehensive economic and social development under the guidance of His Highness the Emir Shikh Hama Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and his trusted Heir Apparent, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.
On political front, Qatar is leading the democratization process in the region. The country's commitment to political reforms has helped boost its image internationally. The democratic structure guarantees equal rights for al citizens and separates the powers of executives, legislature and judiciary. The country's policies inspired by the visions of its wise leadership, constituted in promoting dialogue between cultures and religions to bridge the gap and deepening the understanding among different nations, seeking the peaceful settlements to resolve all disputes, encouraging the peaceful coexistence between different cultures and rejecting all form of discriminations, have led the country to be elected as a Non-Permanent Member to the United Nations Security Council, for two year period starting from January 2006.
Economically, Qatar has blossomed into a vibrant and modern State with rapidly growing economy and one of highest per capita incomes in the world with GDP per capita more than $35000. Qatar's economy has the rapid pulse of a market and considered as the fastest growing and the most competitive in the region according to the World Economic Forum 2005. Qatar's small but growing population and its massive oil and gas earnings have made the country one of the richest in the world in terms of per capita income. The current projects in the oil and gas sector amount more than $65 billion, while other mega projects in infrastructure amount to an additional $40 billion. The country is in strong position to support its ambitious growth plans.
The potential behind the remarkable economic growth is the Government's policy of liberalization and diversification, particularly the vitalization of small and medium size industries, relaxation of the policies on foreign investments, encouraging stronger private investments. There are many sectors of economy that are primed for growth, such as: Manufacturing, tourism, transportation, healthcare and education.
Qatar is aiming to become by 2012 the world leading exporter of Liquefied natural Gas (LNG), when its annual production will reach 77 million tons of gas. The oil production will also increase from the current 800.000 bpd to 1 million bpd by year 2010. Qatar is committed to invest over US$ 130 billion in oil& gas and infrastructure projects within the next 7 years.
The external trade plays an important role in Qatar's economy. The country is supporting a free market policy, and playing a key role in bridging between the East and the West, and aiming to become a hub for international business and investment
Gas Technology (GTL projects)
Qatar Petroleum is actively pursuing a number of world-scale gas-to-liquids conversion projects for the production of synthetic fuels and base oil stocks. The projects are all integrated with offshore development to supply the large amounts of gas needed for these projects. The GTL projects include the followings:
Oryx GTL Project
Launched in June 6th, 2006 as a JV company between Qatar Petroleum (51%) and Sasol Ltd, the South African- based petrochemical company (49%). The design capacity of the project is 34,000 bpd of gas-to-liquid fuel. The Expansion of ORYX GTL project will increase its output by 100,000 bpd.
Pearl GTL is an integrated project which will develop the North Field gas to produce approximately 140,000 bpd of synthetic fuels and base oils. The project will be developed in two phases with the first phase operational in 2009. Pearl GTL project was launched in July 2006 by Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell.
ExxonMobil GTL project is for the production of synthetic GTL products in excess of 154,000 bpd. The project will produce base oil stocks in addition to the synthetic fuels.
Energy City Qatar
Officially launched on March 22 this year, Energy City Qatar is the world's next major energy hub and the first energy business center in the Middle East. It will serve the commercial, technical and human resource needs of the oil and gas industry operation in the region. One of the most significant features of Energy City Qatar is the International Mercantile Exchange (IMEX).
Energy City Qatar will attract the global key players in oil and gas sectors to interact, cooperate and compete on commercial and technical levels. The city consolidates supporting services, infrastructure and downstream activities, market resource and data intellectual property and energy trading, providing a single point of access to markets and expertise in the Middle East. Energy City Qatar is part of a comprehensive project of Lusail, which is an urban development project to build a world-class city home for nearly 200.000 people.
Since 1995, His Highness the Emir of Qatar has led comprehensive, large-scale educational reforms in Qatar by improving the foundation of learning and schooling performance, establishing several independent schools, promoting education in all areas of the community, including education for children with special needs and learning for the disabled. Qatar is heavily investing in this vital sector out of its firm believe that the country's ambitions could not be realized unless it develops its own human resources by focusing on the education. Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al- Misnad, the consort of H.H the Emir, is working to raise educational standards and create new learning opportunities for all members of society. She is committed to building a modern, world class educational system in Qatar.
Through the Qatar Foundation, Her Highness has developed pilot educational projects which make Qatar a centre of excellence in higher education and research, in addition to an important contributor to world knowledge. Parts of these projects are:
Being developed by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development, as non-profit organization specialized on educational and cultural development in Qatar, housing some of the world's finest academic institutions, and aimed at positioning Doha as a key centre for the advancement of the people of Qatar and other Gulf states. Scheduled for completion in 2008, Education City is already flourishing and providing world-class educational facilities from kindergarten through junior and secondary levels to internationally recognized graduate and post-graduate studies and research programs. Education City hosts branch campuses of some of the world's leading universities, as well as numerous other educational and research institutions such as: Carnegie Mellon, George Town University, Texas A& M, Virginia Commonwealth, and Weill Cornell Medical School. There are some negotiations taking place between Japan's Kyoto University and Qatar Foundation to cooperate on joint researches on diabetes and developing Intellectual Transport System for Qatar.
The master plan for the education city is created by renowned Japanese architect Eng. Arata Isozaki. Most of the students are citizens or residents of Qatar, but many come from other countries in the Gulf and throughout the Middle East. Some come from as far as the United States, New Zealand, South Africa and Bosnia. Education City is a place where bridges are being built to link between cultures for a better future.
Qatar Science & Technology Park
QSTP is a home for technology-based companies from around the world, and an incubator of start-up enterprises, aimed at spurring the development of Qatar's knowledge economy, by providing the ideal location for companies to develop their technology and deliver it to the marketplace. QSTP provides an environment of office and laboratory space, support services, and programs which help accelerate the commercialization process. QSTP is a "free zone", making it easy and attractive for foreign technology companies to come to Qatar. And as part of the renowned Qatar Foundation, QSTP connects its tenants with an array of world-class international universities.
To sustain remarkable economic growth, Qatar is heavily investing in area of health care to provide a sense of safe and secure for its people. Based on the sober philosophy that medical care should be available for all residents of Qatar, the health sector is to offer citizens a full range of world-class medical services and to become a regional leader in healthcare. Established in 2005, the National Health Authority (NHA) aims at providing the medial preventive and treatment services supervising over the provision of public health services. Besides, it regulates the marketing and manufacturing of medicine in accordance with international quality standards, NHA undertakes the System to upgrade the level of health service and disseminate health education and awareness. The healthcare system in Qatar is being promoted in all its aspects: prevention, therapy, research and development.
Major reform program is underway to improve the standards of wellbeing and healthcare in many areas to respond to needs that resulted from Qatar's increasing population and rapid developments in the field of medicine. Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al- Misnad, the consort of H.H the Emir established the Shafallah Center in collaboration with Qatar Foundation, to provide health and learning support for children with special needs. Furthermore, Qatar Establishment for Care of the Elderly provides health and social support for senior citizens in need, and a rehabilitation centre offers a unique facility for young people with addiction problems.
Health education claims an important share in the country. Organizations such as the Qatar Diabetes Association are promoting healthy lifestyles throughout the community. Weill Cornell Medical College - Qatar and a specialty teaching hospital are working to turn Qatar into one of the world's advanced centers for medical research. Hamad Medical Corporation has fulfilled its mandate of providing the best quality care for all patients irrespective of nationality, and played its role in providing "Health For All" as pledged by the State of Qatar.
Qatar is one of the world's leading multifaceted tourism destinations for leisure, business, education, and sport. The potential behind this is Qatar's natural attractions and resources, its cultural and traditional heritage as well as on major assets of the country, its remarkable safety, and its hospitality. Thanks to its state-of-the-art facilities, an award wining first-class airline, and luxurious hotels, Qatar's tourism industry is steadily gaining momentum. In fact, tourism has become the second industry behind natural resources.
The Tourism Masterplan released in May 2004 highlighted new projects worth in excess of US$ 15 billion. With new projects such as the New Doha International Airport, new museums, cultural sites and the increase in hotel rooms to 10,000 by 2010, Qatar is fast establishing itself as key stopover and business hub.
The 'Qatar experience' is a unique blend of adventure, leisure and Arabian tradition, from desert dune driving to exciting water sports, from fascinating museums to traditional markets. Qatar offers world-class hotels, restaurants and spa facilities and activities for all the family in a safe and secure environment.
The number of the Japanese tourists to Qatar is increasing thanks to attractive sight-seeing spots in the country and the inauguration of Qatar Airlines direct flights to Japan in April 2005. In July this year, the Airlines increased its direct weekly flights between Doha and Osaka from Four to Five times to respond growing market demands in Japan, and expected to make it 6 flights a week by coming October.
The Pearl Qatar
The Pearl-Qatar is a multi-billion dollar offshore, Riviera-style man-made island, covering 985 acres of reclaimed land. It is Qatar's first international real estate venture, one of the largest real estate developments in the country and the first to offer freehold and residential rights to international investors. The project has witnessed rapid growth and is widely seen as one of the most prestigious projects in the Middle East.
The island will be home to some 42,000 residents by 2010 and the first units at Porto Arabia district will be ready for occupants in late 2007.
The Pearl-Qatar's name and location, on a former pearl diving site, highlights the country's traditions, and strong historical and cultural ties to the sea; it is an island rediscovered, and aimed to make it a tourist destination.
Sporting destination- 15th, Asian Games Doha 2006
Today, Qatar is playing a pivotal and constructive role in promoting peace and cooperation among nations by graciously hosting major prestigious international events. Qatar has hosted several sporting, cultural and educational events.
However, nothing compares to the enormity of the 15th Asian Games which takes place in Doha. From 1 to 15 December 2006, Doha will be the sports capital of the world. It will feature 45 countries and regions participating in 39 sports and 423 events, making it the largest sporting events ever to come to the Gulf.
The preparations for this important event are moving according to plans, and the country is committed to make it an unprecedented event. As part of preparations, Qatar is building an Olympic Village which includes 871 total housing units, in addition to numerous stadiums to accommodate about 10000 athletes and 30.000 visitors, while the existing sports facilities are being upgraded.
Qatar is willing to use
these games to strengthening and deepening the understanding and
friendship among the Asian countries.
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