Former minister and current MP for the ODS, Petr Bendl, recently became chairman of the Interparliamentary Group Czech Republic-Qatar and is planning to visit Qatar in the first half of this year.
What are your plans in terms of the Group in the near future?
I have been working closely with representatives of different Arab countries for a long time. Our main focus is connecting on the various possibilities of mutual trade. The biggest current plan is probably a visit to Qatar. The main talking point will be trade and all the new opportunities surrounding it.
Do you have a more concrete idea as to what exactly will be discussed?
The different topics of mutual cooperation are currently being defined. The Ukraine conflict is causing significant changes in the world market, which is creating new opportunities that we would like to make use of. The food market is definitely going to see a major change, seeing as 30 percent of global grain production comes either from Ukraine or Russia. Czechia can more than sustain itself when it comes to cereal production, and the surplus we produce even gives us the opportunity to seek out new markets. And yes – if Qatar is interested, we will definitely talk to entrepreneurs via the non-governmental organizations that represent them.
The football World Cup will take place in Qatar this fall. Are you a football fan?
I am more interested in horse breeding than football, so I am drawn to equine competitions rather than football ones.
Qatar, a state the size of about one-seventh of Czechia, is the richest country in the world, boasting desert architecture as well as luxury resorts along its coast. Have you ever visited?
Not yet, sadly. I did visit Saudi Arabia on a business trip once before, so I have some idea. But I am well aware that each country is unique in its own way. I am looking forward to it!