The massive urban development being implemented throughout Qatar, Doha in particular, is worthy of deep admiration and appreciation, Jorge Munoz Wells, Mayor of Lima, told 'Gulf Times'. The visiting mayor of the Peruvian capital described Qatar as a model for rapid development that focus on improving the living standards of its residents.
The South American dignitary felt the visit has been of great benefit in the light of the exchange of views and experiences. Qatar has considerable experience in urban infrastructure and city planning, which the mayor believes could be highly beneficial for his country.
"I have met with a good number of senior Qatari officials and we discussed how to manage cities and address the involved challenges for the desired development. We hope to sign sister or twin cities agreements with Doha soon to exchange related experiences. Qatar is secure, safe and very clean, so it would be excellent if we exchange experiences on how it works and transfer this to Lima and other cities in Peru," said Wells.
Though Qatar is very secure and well-prepared to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Lima could still offer some help and expertise based on its hosting the Pan-American Games 2019, he felt. Mayor Wells described Qatari officials as well-focused on development and have practical plans that extend to Qatar National Vision 2030.
"In Lima there are two metro lines, one is operational and the other is still being constructed," said the mayor, stressing that Peru is a good investment destination in Latin America, where foreign investors, Qataris in particular, can keep direct investments with good yield in different fields including transportation and infrastructure projects.
"During this visit I have seen the metro lines in Doha, some food production companies, museums including the National Museum, Katara-the Culture Village Foundation, and many other sophisticated and admirable places. "I visited the country three years ago and I can say that within the past three years, Qatar has reached amazing progress in all fields, enhancing local food production and expanded its urban services on all levels," observed Wells.
Based on the positive experience and impression, the Peruvian dignitary stressed that he considers himself as an ambassador of Qatar in Lima willing to enhance all avenues of mutual co-operation in particular investments, cultural exchange and environmental and municipal co-operation and city-to-city direct relations and contacts. Peru is a safe and secure hub for foreign investors in Latin America, from where investors could expand their projects to the neighbouring countries as well.
"Peru has a rich history, culture and heritage, is a promising tourist destination with various attractive investment opportunities in mining, oil and gas, tourism and construction and farming," said Wells.
Meanwhile, the ambassador of Peru to Qatar, Jose A Benzequen Perea, said that there are currently around 150 Peruvian professionals in Qatar with their families and they describe their life here as excellent. For the time being Qatari citizens require a visa to go to Peru, which is granted immediately. "Work is on to give them visa-free entry and it would be implemented soon," the envoy said.
Both Qatar and Peru have a long history of mutual friendship and enjoy a good political will to take the relations further in all fields, the ambassador added.