Qatari Sheikh, Faleh bin Nasser Al Thani, has been living in Czechia for many years. He has the capacity to compare not just the mentality of both nations, but also to understand trade between the two countries. That is one of the reasons why he is working closely with the CCPF Czech-Qatari Chamber of Commerce.
You have excellent knowledge of the business environment in both Qatar and Czechia. Are they two completely different worlds, or are there parallels to be drawn?
I do not see any major differences. The work environment is the same for the most part, with some challenges, of course. I feel that the biggest challenge investors might face is understanding the laws of the country and properly researching the sector they would like to enter. Having a basic understanding of local culture is also vital, and can be tremendously beneficial in business, which applies for both countries.
Are you seeing the interest in mutual trade relations grow?
Many Czech companies have created successful businesses in Qatar and vice versa. Indeed, the trade exchange between the two countries has increased by more than 70%, and the reason is the growing demand for Czech products in Qatar, especially the World Cup projects.
Which sectors do you see as having the most potential?
There are certainly several sectors of common bilateral interest, such as the medical sector, the industrial sector, high-tech companies, clean energy, and tourism.
What exactly does your collaboration with the CCPF entail?
The Czech-Qatari Chamber of Commerce was established in 2017 with the aim of facilitating business, creating opportunities, and providing a flexible work environment for investors both in Czechia and Qatar. We are planning to open a Czech business center in Qatar which would serve as a base for Czech companies in the country. Also, with the easing of Covid restrictions, we are hoping to organize the visit of a big Czech business delegation to Doha in the coming months.
Qatar is a sought-after tourist destination for Czech people. Do the Qatari feel the same about Czechia?
The Czech Republic has a reputation in Qatar as the best place for physical therapy and convalescence. But there are also many Qataris who are very impressed after arriving in the Czech Republic and seeing all the historical monuments and other tourist areas.
You have been living in Czechia for quite some time, why did you choose our country, specifically?
I came to convalesce at the local clinics and I was fascinated by the country and the beauty of its nature, I saw many investment opportunities here, and I also got to know many friends. I think that the Czech Republic has a certain aesthetic character that distinguishes it from other countries.
How do you see the Czech people?
The Czech people are very friendly and peaceful, this is also true for Qataris. Language is the biggest challenge when it comes to communication, I would say. I have met a number of Czech people working in Qatar and they told me that they very much enjoyed being there.
Will you be rooting for the Czech national football team to fight its way into the World Cup that Qatar is hosting this year?
Of course, I would like to see the Czech national team play in the World Cup in Qatar and qualify for the final rounds, many of my Czech friends would come for sure. But I will naturally support the Qatar national team.
Faleh bin Násir Ál Thání