Holland was early from Qatar. With the facilitation of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Dutch companies were ready to start the World Cup. One week before the football tournament is officially commissioned, contacts have already been made with VIPs from the Qatari business community and the Qatari government about business opportunities surrounding the football tournament, according to correspondence from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
While a Dutch-Belgian delegation still believes it will win the 2018 World Cup, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has already seen opportunities in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
An official from the General Directorate of Foreign Economic Relations concluded after an “economic mission” with a delegation of entrepreneurs in December 2010: “Qatar looked promising again, both for the mobile business community and for government cooperation.” World Cup 2022 As a perspective, a new dynamic appears to be developing in Qatar in the coming years, and it is important to be there at the right time.
It worked, because four months later another delegation went to Qatar, where the 2022 World Cup was given a prominent place in the “Strategic Travel Agenda”. This time, in March 2011, it was a state visit led by Queen Beatrix and Maxime Verhagen (CDA), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs.
Opportunities were created in areas such as infrastructure, transportation, logistics, crowd control technologies, tourism and training. Verhagen lobbied himself to make the construction of stadiums and artificial turf fields a Dutch affair.
In December 2011, Verhagen again went to Qatar, this time to speak at the World Petroleum Congress. Much of his agenda was again devoted to a “bilateral meeting” with the World Cup Organizing Committee to promote Dutch business.
It will be followed by several official trips to the oil state to increase business opportunities. As of 2012, this has been enhanced by the Qatar 2022 Task Force, a partnership between business and government, with an important role for the Embassy in Doha.
“We tried to get the Dutch companies in, in order to open the doors,” Maxime Verhagen says of those visits. We wanted to show what the Dutch business community can do. No contracts were made during these state visits, companies have to arrange this themselves later.
According to Verhagen, human rights were not discussed during trade missions. It is not clear to Verhagen whether those visits yielded much. But he knows that if Qatar had benefited from Dutch companies, “the working conditions might have been much better.” “Now when you think of Qatar, you basically think of the thousands of workers who died building the World Cup stadiums.”
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