February 26 2018
Qatar Chamber officials have met with a human rights team from Canada to discuss the efforts the state of Qatar has made during the siege imposed on the country in June last year.
Board member Mohamed bin Ahmed al-Obaidli, who met with the team led by Ferry de Kerchkove, said the state “has successfully faced the unfair siege…with full power and steadfastness.”
Al-Obaidli said due to these efforts, Qatar had gained the respect and appreciation of the international community. “The siege had increased our self-dependence and helped us to develop our abilities for the best.” He emphasised that Qatar’s economy was not affected by the siege. “Rather, it had many benefits: It urged the business community to focus on local products and it boosted our relations with friendly countries such as Turkey.
It also enhanced private-public partnership and increased the interest in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and industry,” al-Obaidli pointed out.
On the role of the private sector, al-Obaidli said it had proven its resilience and ability to provide the local market with food and medicine requirements “without any shortage or interruption.”
He also said the siege countries “lost a lot of contracts and partnerships” in the Qatari market, adding that businessmen managed to find new alternative destinations to ensure the flow of goods and commodities into the Qatari market.
“Businessmen increased the production of existing factories and established new factories in new sectors to meet the increasing demands of the local market,” he said, adding that the chamber’s board members lauded the diplomacy displayed by Qatar, which emphasised on dialogue and negotiation.
“We held many meetings with food and medicine importers to discuss all obstacles and find out rapid solutions with concerned authorities,” he noted, referring to the chamber’s role during the siege. Al-Obaidli also said the siege had no impact on the infrastructure projects and those related to the country’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The chamber also discussed the losses incurred by Qatari companies because of the siege, and many companies participating in the meeting presented their cases before the human rights team.
The Canadian delegation was impressed with Qatar’s treatment of the siege and thanked the chamber “for providing the opportunity to demonstrate all efforts and measures taken to meet the siege’s repercussions.”