Blockade helps Qatar reduce dependence on imports: Al-Sharqi

5/7/2017

The Saudi Arabia-led economic blockade of Qatar has had a positive impact on the local industry, according to Qatar Chamber Director General Saleh bin Hamad Al Sharqi.

In an interview on Qatar Radio’s “Aswaq” programme aired on Tuesday, the QC official said the blockade has united nation-wide efforts in increasing the use of local products and reducing dependence on imports.

“There is a great interest in expanding the local industry to meet demands of the domestic market and export surplus abroad,” Al Sharqi pointed out.

Assuring that the obstacles facing local industries were being tackled, he said new investment opportunities in the industrial sector will be announced in the near future.

Al Sharqi noted that the single window committee, which was formed as part of a project to streamline investor services, has speed up the issue of industrial licenses.

Qatar Chamber is a member of this committee.

“In the past, Qatar was keen on supporting GCC products by opening up the local market to them. The siege provided a great opportunity to local producers to expand their market share and attain certain degree of self-sustainability, both for themselves and the country.”

Local products, he said, were now able to compete and increase presence in the market and Qatar’s factories were currently increasing production with high-quality standards
He promised the Chamber’s support to local products, noting that it was promoting Qatar’s products through events and exhibitions held inside and outside the country.

He said the siege countries have lost the Qatari market, pointing out that there were new plans that will be released soon among the state bodies concerned to adopt initiatives aiming at expanding the local production.

Al Sharqi said the cooperation between business owners and the Chamber had played a crucial part in blunting the impact of the siege on Qatar, noting that QC-led business visit to Oman last month was an example of that.

The visit saw the signing of several large-scale commercial deals.

He added that “more visits to other countries will be announced later.”

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