As Qatar today commemorates its Unification Day, the Daily News sought a brief interview with ambassador of Qatar in Tanzania, Mr Abdullah Jassim AlMaadadi in which he spoke on a wide range of issues. Read the following excerpts to find out what the diplomat had to say

How can you describe the state of diplomatic relations between Qatar and Tanzania

The United Republic of Tanzania enjoys great importance on the Qatar foreign policy and diplomatic map, because Tanzania has the potential that made it an indisputable figure which cannot be surpassed such as its strategic location, its wealth, natural resources and its political and social stability. Undoubtedly, the State of Qatar seeks to develop its existing relations with the Republic of Tanzania in various fields and move it to greater horizons.

Qatar is a nation in the world that has significantly succeeded in exploiting its oil and gas resources to the level of becoming the richest country in the world. In general, what steps has the State of Qatar taken to exploit its resources to achieve its economic interests?

The State of Qatar enjoyed wise leadership in the past and continues to enjoy it at present and that has led willingly to exploit its natural resources ideally, making Qatar an economic and financial force on the world map due to the determination and the will of its distinguished institutions.

The State of Qatar represents a force attracting foreign investments and the focus of the world's countries considering its economic and political stability. It is a small country in area, but it is a big country with its resources, regional and international roles. The State of Qatar has made optimal use of its resources through its investments at home and abroad.

Reports show that before the emergence of petrolbased industry, Qatar was a poor pearl diving country. The exploration of oil and gas fields began in 1939. In 1973, oil production and revenues increased drastically, moving Qatar out of the ranks of the world's poorest countries and providing it with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. From your understanding, which drastic measures can be taken to benefit from gas -as a natural resource- ideally?

Pearl extraction is regarded as a historical legacy to the State of Qatar. Although the Qatar economy transformed fully, this craft remains a legacy of cultural and social value. The Government of the State of Qatar has firmly established pearlrelated heritage by organising contents with valuable prizes for pearl diving to preserve this heritage, which receives the attention of both, the Qatar leadership and the people.

As for the measures to be taken in your question, it is important to explore new markets and to develop a financial, administrative and legal framework that fully ensures the use of natural resources with flexible- based-investments, especially in the energy sector.

Moreover, you may have followed the recent announcement by the State of Qatar that it intends to increase production of natural gas by 30 per cent, from 77 million to 100 million tonnes annually by 2024. Undoubtedly, this ambitious project will strengthen Qatar's leading position in the market of natural gas, and keep it at the forefront of LNG producers for a very long time, and will ensure the wellbeing of future generations.

 Has Qatar been able to provide any technical support to Tanzania to help it develops local content in its extractive industry?

The State of Qatar aspires to play a bigger role than it is playing now in assisting Tanzania in the framework of the bilateral relations between the two countries, so that Tanzania can benefit from its natural resources, especially, in the field of energy, by benefiting from Qatari experiences in this field.

On bilateral trade relations, what are the areas of cooperation in which Qatar and Tanzania work closely?

The two countries are currently studying various agreements and memoranda of understanding in various fields, including trade, cooperation and others, and that is to strengthen their relations further to achieve the common interests of the two countries.

Qatar Airways currently represents the commercial sector linking the interests of the two countries, where the company partly supports the flow of tourists to Tanzania. There is also some development and charitable assistance as well as cooperation in the diplomatic field with the recent opening of the Tanzanian embassy in Qatar.

 What is the volume of trade between Qatar and Tanzania?

The volume of trade exchange between the State of Qatar and the United Republic of Tanzania has not reached what the two sides aspire to, but the Government of Qatar is seeking to increase trade with its Tanzanian counterpart to serve the interests of the two friendly countries.

In what major area of economic cooperation does Qatar want to invest heavily in Tanzania in the near future?

The State of Qatar wishes to invest in the United Republic of Tanzania to achieve the common interests of both countries after conducting the necessary feasibility studies.

By viewing various reports, it is very rare to hear or read about corruption cases in Qatar. What is the secret behind this success story?

Corruption practices and crimes in Qatar are at their lowest. The State of Qatar is among the least corrupt countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and even in the world. Anti-corruption laws are effectively enforced and there are deterrent penalties against those found to be corrupt.

Although Qatar and Tanzania have enjoyed a friendly relationship for a long time, what has been put in place to strengthen this relationship and ensure cultural exchange between the peoples of the two countries?

There are many agreements and memoranda of understanding under study between the two sides, including two agreements in the fields of culture, sports and youth. The governments of the two countries are working to include these agreements and other agreements to contribute effectively to pushing the relations between the two countries to a wider perspective.

Tanzania has almost the best tourist attractions in the world. How can your embassy help ensure a good flow of tourists from Qatar?

I have already mentioned that Qatar Airways contributes somewhat to the flow of tourists to Tanzania from around the world. There is a link between Hamad Airport in Doha and Julius Nyerere Airport in Dar es Salaam as well as Kilimanjaro Airport. The promotion of bilateral relations between Qatar and Tanzania - especially in tourism - will drive Qatar tourists to Tanzania to see the country's sights such as natural reserves, Mount Kilimanjaro and other attractions.

Although Qatar's economy is vibrant, it has taken great strides in educating the Qatari people and has gone further with the help of other countries through institutions such as the Qatar Foundation. How will you help Tanzanians get these scholarships?

It is possible to confer with the Tanzanian side to consider the best way for the United Republic of Tanzania to benefit from such assistance and grants. The State of Qatar has the desire to do so, as the World Innovation Summit for Education, better known as (WISE), plays a leading role in the education of children around the world by providing education to about 7 million children around the world.

Have the steps taken by the Government of Qatar to prevent the effects of the current Gulf Crisis been sufficient?

The State of Qatar through the efforts of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Government Officials; have refuted allegations and accusations against the State of Qatar, with diplomatic and political moves. These moves led to the preservation of the sovereignty of the State of Qatar.

Convincing active international actors of the country's view on these misguided, baseless and inapplicable demands. These efforts have succeeded in shattering the authors of the crisis, in addition to the role played by the Qatar media discourse in the failing and repudiating of these allegations and false accusations.

On the economic side, the State of Qatar has replaced its only land border with Hamad Port, which is one of the largest ports in the Gulf and the Middle East, where The State of Qatar has a large maritime fleet that enables the country to avoid the negative effects of the blockade, in addition to its excellent airline fleet.

Moreover, not to forget here the great awareness of the citizens and the residents of the State of Qatar and their understanding of the dimensions of this fabricated crisis.

 Do you think that the current crisis will affect Qatar's hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2022?

The State of Qatar will continue its preparations for hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 and these preparations are going ahead unhindered. The State of Qatar will host the World Cup as planned and there is a great expectation that it will be the best World Cup finals.

The State of Qatar recently approved a draft law on expatriate workers, which strengthened the position of the State of Qatar on the recent abolition of the International Labor Organisation (ILO) cases against the State of Qatar in which it was accused of violating the rights of workers.

Is there anything that you think Qatar can learn from Tanzania?

The United Republic of Tanzania has political and social legacy, regional and international roles, especially in the field of peacekeeping and mediation, and its support for economic diplomacy, which has made it have stable relations with various international and regional institutions.

The balance pursued by the United Republic of Tanzania in its international relations in addition to its political weight, requires the State of Qatar to cooperate with the United Republic of Tanzania in the fields of cultural and economic exchange.