Wikileaks: Qatari food company adapts investment strategy to concerns of partner countries
Published: 03 Sep 2009
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Viewing cable 09DOHA552, QATARI FOOD COMPANY ADAPTS INVESTMENT STRATEGY TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09DOHA552 2009-09-03 09:41 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Doha
Original_wl_hour_glass_small
	VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDO #0552/01 2460941
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 030941Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY DOHA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9370
INFO RUEHC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
	C O N F I D E N T I A L DOHA 000552 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/30/2019 
TAGS: EAGR ECON ETRD PGOV PREL EINV TRGY QA AS SU
SUBJECT: QATARI FOOD COMPANY ADAPTS INVESTMENT STRATEGY TO 
CONCERNS OF PARTNER COUNTRIES 
 
REF: DOHA 446 
 
Classified By: CDA Mirembe L. Nantongo for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
 -------------- 
(C) KEY POINTS 
-------------- 
 
-- (U) Qatar's Hassad Food Company has received 
international praise for its business plan, investing in 
developing countries' companies rather than just purchasing 
their land, according to a local newspaper. 
 
-- (U) Hassad's Chairman has commissioned a study of 
Qatar's food needs to be completed within the next month 
and expects his company's products to enter the market 
within the next 1 to 2 years. 
 
-- (C) A Hassad Food advisor explained to Emboff September 
3 that the company tailors its involvement in each country 
to the preferences of its partner in order to minimize 
local "backlash" to the company's actions. 
 
----------- 
(C) COMMENT 
----------- 
 
-- Hassad's efforts to forge durable arrangements with 
companies in agriculturally rich countries is further 
evidence of the priority Qatar, which imports over 90 
percent of its food, attaches to food security.  The extent 
to which Hassad goes to accommodate its partners is a 
reflection of this importance. 
 
-- Food security issues present opportunities for 
cooperation between the U.S. and Qatar, and the latter has 
recently engaged Embassy on this subject (Reftel). 
 
End Key Points and Comment. 
 
1. (U) A local Qatari newspaper carried an article August 
31 praising the investment strategy of Qatar's Hassad Food 
Company.  Hassad's decision to purchase shares in local 
agricultural companies instead of expropriating the 
agricultural land of poorer countries exclusively for 
Qatar's own purposes has met with international acclaim, 
according to the newspaper.  Hassad Chairman and Managing 
Director Nasser Mohamed Al-Hajri emphasized that his 
company is "looking for opportunities where we can work 
with partners...We do not want to take away the land of the 
poor." 
 
2. (U) At an August press conference, Al-Hajri said Hassad 
allocated 500 million USD for investment in agricultural 
companies worldwide.  He stated that he expects his 
company's first products to reach the world market within 
the next 1-2 years.  Al-Hajri also reported that Hassad 
hired a consultant to prepare a study on Qatar's food 
needs, which will be completed within the next month. 
 
3. (C) Dr. Hamad Al-Saad, an Adviser for Hassad Food, 
expounded on his company's investment strategy in a 
September 3 phone call with Emboff Miller.  He said Hassad 
is working to create a "win-win situation," where both the 
company and the countries in which it invests benefit. 
Al-Saad emphasized the importance Hassad attached to 
minimizing local "backlash" to its presence. 
 
4. (C) In order to create more stable and enduring 
relationships, Hassad tailors the nature of its involvement 
to the desires of its prospective partners, according to 
Al-Saad.  He said that the company buys land based on the 
preferences of its partners, as in Australia, and buys 
shares in local companies where that mode of investment is 
desired, as in Sudan. 
 
5. (C) Al-Saad also reported that Hassad recruits Qatari 
humanitarian organizations to become involved in countries 
where it does business.  The purpose of this, according to 
him, is to avoid developing an "intimidating" image in the 
eyes of local populations, thereby facilitating their 
acceptance of Hassad's presence in their countries. 
Al-Saad said such actions are part and parcel of doing "the 
right thing all the way." 
 
6. (U) Hassad Food Company is a 1 billion USD firm 
established in 2008 and owned by the Qatar Investment 
Authority, the Gulf nation's sovereign wealth fund.  The 
firm is charged with ensuring Qatar's food security through 
a strategy of diversification, investing locally and in 
Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.  Its biggest 
project to date is a 300 million Qatari Riyal poultry farm 
in Qatar that meets 22 percent of local demand.  Hassad is 
currently exploring investment possibilities with companies 
in Australia and Sudan. 
Nantongo
Source:Wikileaks