DOHA, Jan 30: Qatar has announced it will invest up to a billion euros in a joint fund with Athens to bolster recession-hit Greek industry, the state news agency QNA reported on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani revealed his country’s investment plan in Greece late on Tuesday after talks with his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras, the agency said.

He said Qatar’s investment could equal a similar investment by Greece in the joint fund, along the lines of an existing deal with Italy.

“We want to match our joint fund agreement signed with Italy few months back... where we agreed to set up a fund with a 50:50 shared capital of 2bn euros,” he said.

“We do not have a problem matching this figure,” he added, referring to Qatar’s around 1bn euro investment in the Italian venture.

The Greek fund, part of cooperation agreements signed on Tuesday in Doha, would invest in Greek small and medium-sized businesses.

Recession-mired Greece has long sought to entice Qatari investment in real estate development to jumpstart its flagging construction industry, traditionally one of the main engines of its economy.

Under Qatar’s with the Italy, the Gulf state will invest in several sectors including fashion, food, tourism and design. —AFP

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