Qatar Chamber (QC) hosted on Wednesday a joint meeting with a number of ministries including the Ministry of Interior (MoI), the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) and the Ministry of Labour (MoL), as well as the Qatar Development Bank (QDB), with broad participation of businessmen and businesswomen.
The meeting touched on the concerns and aspirations of the private sector, and obstacles facing companies with a view to finding appropriate solutions.
It also featured many questions and inquiries presented by Qatari businessmen to the four government bodies participating in the meeting.
The event was attended by QC Chairman HE sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al- Thani, Director General of the Department of Passports at the MoI Brigadier Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Ateeq, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the MoL Mohammed Hassan Al-Obaidli, Assistant Undersecretary for Commerce Affairs at the MoCI Saleh bin Majed Al-Khulaifi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industry Affairs at the MoCI Mohamed Hassan Al-Malki, and Acting CEO of QDB Abdulrahman Hesham AL-Sowaidi, as well as QC General Manager Saleh bin Hamad Al-Sharqi.
In his speech, HE Sheikh Khalifa Al-Thani stressed that the meeting embodied the positive cooperation between the public and private sectors for the good of the national economy, under the leadership of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, noting that HH the Amir affirmed on many occasions on the importance of activating the public-private partnership.
Sheikh Khalifa praised the ministries’ rapid response to the Chamber’s invitation to hold this meeting, and the keenness of their officials to attend the meeting to discuss the private sector’s issues that are relevant to these ministries, noting that this would contribute to eradicating any obstacles that might impact the private sector’s contribution to the economic activity and economic development in the state.
He also stressed that the private sector had been a genuine partner to the government in preparation for the 2022 World Cup, indicating that it has contributed to Qatar’s resounding success in hosting the best-ever edition in the history of the championship.
QC Chairman underscored the Chamber’s keenness to solve all obstacles facing the private sector, noting that in preparation for this meeting, the Chamber surveyed companies and business owners on the obstacles they face to discuss with government agencies to find appropriate solutions.
The meeting featured many topics and inquiries by businessmen to the four parties, including businessmen’s visas, signing the establishment registration, providing facilities to entrepreneurs and startups, displaying national products within distribution outlets, and plans to support investment opportunities in SMEs.
Topics also included the recruitment of workers, facilitating procedures for obtaining licenses and necessary industrial lands and QDB’s requirements to provide finance for SMEs.
During the meeting, officials of the four bodies assured that the inquiries raised by businessmen will be followed up through the joint committees between the Chamber and these ministries and agencies in order to reach appropriate solutions.
They also praised the Chamber’s keenness to hold this meeting, which reflects the close relationship between the public and private sectors, and joint cooperation for the advancement of the national economy.
On his part, Brigadier Mohammed Al-Ateeq said that business visas are not suspended but there are some controls to make sure that they are issued to genuine businessmen not to workers.
Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the MoL Mohammed Hassan Al-Obaidli said that the circular of ban on all companies owned by the owner of the violating company is no longer applicable except for rare cases, as after meetings with the Chamber previously, it was decided not to impose the ban on all companies except for certain cases.
For his part, Assistant Undersecretary for Commerce Affairs at the MoCI Saleh bin Majed Al-Khulaifi said that the ministry recently established a department for business development, noting that there a plan to offer a host of investment opportunities will be announced soon and that reducing fees for all commercial licenses is under consideration.
Assistant Undersecretary for Industry Affairs at the MoCI Mohamed Hassan Al-Malki noted that there are plans to offer investment opportunities and new lands in the industrial sector according to the market status, pointing out that the ministry will soon provide an industrial consulting service to businessmen.
Acting CEO of QDB Abdulrahman Hesham AL-Sowaidi said that the bank annually issues a list of unattractive industries that the bank refrains from financing them.
In response to a question about why the meeting invited those four bodies only, QC General Manager Saleh Al-Sharqi said that the Chamber intends to hold a series of meetings with other concerned government agencies to discuss the various obstacles facing the private sector, pointing out that the Chamber will soon prepare for a second meeting that includes different ministries and government agencies.
Al-Sharqi also noted that regular meetings will be held to follow up on any developments facing businessmen, adding that all inquiries and obstacles presented by businessmen to the Chamber will be reviewed through joint committees between the Chamber and various ministries and government agencies.
He assured that solving the obstacles facing the private sector and enabling it to perform its expected role in the state’s economic development is a joint objective for all relevant agencies.
He called on all businessmen to send all the obstacles they face to the chamber to arrange meetings with the concerned bodies to find appropriate solutions.
For their part, businessmen participating in the meeting thanked the Chamber for holding the meeting which reflected the real partnership between the public and private sectors. They also praised the great response of officials of the four agencies, affirming that the meeting touched on many topics and discussed various obstacles facing the private sector.
On his part, the businessman Mohamed Nasser Al-Hajri said that the meeting was fruitful and addressed many obstacles faced by businessmen with concerned bodies, stressing that this confirmed the transparency in dealing with topics that were discussed during the event.
Hassan Al-Hakim said that the meeting brought together Qatari businessmen with officials of four governmental bodies, praising the Chamber’s keenness to solve hurdles facing the private sector.
While Amal Al-Yafie affirmed that the meeting emphasized the genuine partnership between the public and private sectors, as all issues are reviewed in full transparency with concerned officials, indicating that some of these issues will be followed-up through joint committees.
Hassa Al-Marwani praised the meeting which offered a great opportunity for businessmen to introduce their obstacles before concerned bodies to find suitable solutions.