Germany and Qatar are linked by many years of outstanding and trusting relations and have many shared interests. Against the background of current global and regional crises, our partnership with Qatar—as well as with the whole of the Middle East region—has perhaps become even more important to us, both at a foreign and security policy level, as well as for our economy.
In January to October 2018, trade between Germany and Qatar amounted to EUR1.4 billion. This is a remarkable figure, but there is certainly room for raising it higher. German companies have already been involved in many impressive infrastructure projects in Qatar, with their successful developments even including an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for work on the Doha Metro. Qatar's diverse infrastructure projects are not only driven by the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but also by the country's National Vision 2030 designed to diversify the economy. The German business community stands at the ready to be a reliable and competent partner in all of these projects. Over 130 German companies have operations in Qatar. Plant and machine manufacturers and service providers from our country are helping to construct and expand a forward-looking infrastructure, and by doing so are contributing to the success of the Qatari economy. German companies foster the good partnership we have with Qatar by offering first-class products and comprehensive services; they also have local operations that provide training and employment for young people, as well as transferring technological expertise. Our businesses respond to the needs of Qatari partners and play a part in diversifying the economy.
Our trusting cooperation extends not only to the many skills offered by German companies providing their services in Qatar, but also to the involvement of Qatar in Germany. Qatari investors support important German companies by providing capital. They contribute to growth, value creation, jobs and prosperity in Germany. And they receive something in return. German SMEs in particular offer ideal investment opportunities for investors from Qatar. They are welcome partners in Germany.
Building upon our positive experience with investors from Qatar, it therefore remains of particular importance to me to promote investments in Germany. As part of this work, around 1,000 actors from government and business came to Berlin in the autumn of 2018 to attend the Qatar-Germany Business and Investment Forum, led by Federal Chancellor Merkel and His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar. A key contact for people interested in investing in Germany is our business promotion agency Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI).
The economic links between Qatar and Germany in strategically important areas such as infrastructure, digitalization, health, and financial services offer broad potential. This will also be the focus at the upcoming meeting of the German-Qatari Joint Economic Commission taking place in Berlin on February 19, 2019 and hosted by my ministry. The event will enable the numerous representatives from government and business attending from both countries to discuss further opportunities for cooperation. I would be delighted if German-Qatari business relations continue to grow into the future.