Qatar Chamber 2nd SMEs Conference successfully concluded last Wednesday with a wide presence of business leaders from both Qatar and Turkey.
The Turkish delegation composed by over 130 Turkish companies was led by H.E. M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President, The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).
Key representatives of the local business community participated in the conference showing a strong support for the initiative lead by Qatar Chamber.
Under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, the two-day event was jointly organized by Qatar Chamber, The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and International Chamber of Commerce Qatar (ICC Qatar).
Sponsored by Qatar National Bank (QNB), Qatar Development Bank (QDB), Doha Bank, NBK and Expo Turkey by Qatar, the conference aimed to promote entrepreneurship, stimulate services for SMEs, support diversification and create employment opportunities for the national work force.
Qatar Chamber Chairman, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani applauded the efforts made by Qatar under the wise leadership of the Emir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which contribute to the strong economic development witnessed by the country.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of Qatar Chamber’s first conference on SMEs in Doha, Sheikh Khalifa praised the government directives, laws, facilities and the encouragement to businessmen to invest in this sector.
Due to the vision of Qatari leadership, he said, the country has succeeded in achieving a high profile internationally.
The opening ceremony included a speech by H.E. M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and a presentation on Turkey’s SME Sector given by Mr. Devlet Selim, Pasli, Deputy General Manager, Republic of Turkey Ministry of Economy. The opening ceremony also featured a speech and a video on Expo Turkey by Qatar, given by Mr. Abdul Aziz Al-Emadi, CEO, QNCC. This was followed by signing of Cooperation Agreement between Qatar Chamber and The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).
Khalid Al-Naemi, Assistant General Manager (AGM), SME Banking, QNB, said: “Our support and sponsorship to this event stems from our desire to empower and support entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium-sized companies, this important category that a driving force in shaping the future and development of the economy of Qatar and Turkey and strengthen trade between the two countries. QNB Group aspires to be always at the forefront of supporting institutions for the efforts of new businessmen and women in implementing their ideas and creativities that contributes in strengthening the economy and build a brighter future, knowing that the group had a stronger presence in the Turkish market, which is considered one of the strongest and most important economies in the region.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO, Doha Bank said: “ SMEs Should Leverage on E- Solutions to integrate with Global Value Chains.”
“Supporting SMEs, entrepreneurship and innovation in Qatar is a step in the right direction towards Sustainable economic growth and realizing Qatar National Vision 2030 said Sheikh Nawaf Nasser Al-Thani, NBK. We are honored to have been part of both the first and second Qatar Chamber SMEs Conference and will continue to support the growth of the Qatari business community”
“Creating an opportunity where companies and likeminded business owners can get together and leverage commercial gains for one another was the initial thought behind to the creation of EXPO Turkey by Qatar.” Stated Abdul Aziz Al Emadi, CEO of QNCC. “We’re honored to be a part of this event and have this opportunity to further engage with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)’s of both nations.”
The programme of the conference was fashionably structured featuring a mix of presentations and panel discussions to maximize the interaction with the audience.
Whilst the first day was more informative on business opportunities and resolving obstacles for SMEs, the second day was a site tour of Baladna Farm and QAPCO, Mesaieed.
Sheikh Khalifa attended the panel discussion dedicated to “E-Commerce as a tool for better SME integration into Global Value Chains” which discussed the ways to enable trade through digital channels.
Highlight of the conference was the B2B meetings which gave companies from both Qatari and Turkish side an opportunity to network and showcase their products and services. This was an important platform to inculcate future partnerships.
Other sessions of the conference covered the topics “Financing and Investing in SMEs”, “Boosting Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology in SMEs” and “How to strengthen the within-region agricultural trade links”.
The day ended with a gala dinner at Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser bin Khalid Al- Thani’s farm house.