Doha, November 18
HE Chairman of Qatar Chamber (QC) Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani has revealed that the number of new companies established in Qatar since the beginning of the siege until the end of August 2018 reached about 21,000 new companies registered in QC.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), he stressed that this number of companies in that limited period confirms the attractive investment climate in Qatar which was not affected by the unjust siege imposed on the country.
QC Chairman praised Qatar’s flexible and multifaceted economic strategy, which is in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, making the country achieved significant economic development over the past years, he said, noting the growth of the oil and non-oil sectors, where the contribution of the private sector to the GDP has increased significantly, especially with support given by the wise leadership and the distinguished government to this sector.
In this context, HE QC’s Chairman added that the wise leadership was keen on the need for the private sector to play a greater role in economic development and to pave the way for its participation in the State’s projects, therefore the government issued a number of decisions to support the private sector, pointing out that such decisions represented a push for business owners to work harder to promote and improve the national industry.
He also stressed that the private sector has succeeded in taking a prominent position in the Qatari economy, especially during the siege, taking advantage of the government initiatives that have paved the way for it to be a true partner in the economic growth.
He underlined that the private sector played a leading role during the past period and helped to provide all products, raise production, open up new channels of communication with foreign markets and launch thousands of companies and factories that have helped overcome any possible negative impact by the siege on the economy.
Regarding the most needy sectors that require more of the private sector attention, QC Chairman said that sectors such as agriculture, tourism, education, food and pharmaceutical industries still need more private investment, stressing that QC encourages businessmen to invest in these sectors through discussions with trade delegations, and the invitation of Qatari companies to attend those discussions that aimed at transferring foreign experiences and technology to the State of Qatar.
Qatar Chamber is working to organize a variety of exhibitions to enable Qatari companies to showcase their products and increase their promotion both in the domestic and external markets, he said, adding that QC also communicates with the concerned authorities in the country to remove all obstacles to investors and facilitate procedures for establishing businesses in these sectors.
HE Qatar Chamber Chairman (QC) Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani said that the private sector is enjoying its best time, especially in light of the great support, development and success achieved during the siege, adding that the outstanding performance of the Qatari private sector surprised everyone during the siege period and proved its worth to be a successful and real partner in development.
HE told QNA that the past period witnessed an expansion of the establishment of companies and factories in many sectors, and that the Qatari product replaced many foreign products, noting the participation of the private sector in major projects in the country, and the new laws and regulations that attracted more domestic and foreign investments.
He called for benefiting from the attractive atmosphere and the continued support the sector received, and working to make the private sector to move into the infrastructure projects, the World Cup 2022 projects and non-traditional investment sectors, as well as opening up new markets for the Qatari product to increase its competitiveness globally and increasing partnership with public sector.
With regard to the growth witnessed by the agricultural production in the country during the siege period, HE Qatar Chamber Chairman explained that the sector is of great importance to the concerned authorities in the State in order to secure Qatar’s needs of agricultural materials and stimulate agricultural, livestock and fish production and marketing operations of agricultural products.
He pointed out that the State has provided the appropriate infrastructure to push this sector forwards by securing integrated stores equipped with the latest storage methods to maintain products, and contributed to the removal of all obstacles that may hinder the growth of this vital sector.
He also revealed that the number of agricultural companies established in the country since the beginning of the siege reached about 164 new companies for agricultural production.
In cooperation with Qatar Chamber and the Ministry of Municipalities and Environment, Hassad Food Company (HASSAD) has established a local marketing and agricultural services company (Mahaseel) which aims to support local farmers by marketing their products, as well as providing various other agricultural services, in order to increase the size and quality of local production, he added.
On the most important obstacles faced by businessmen and investors, HE said that in fact, the State has provided many incentives and facilities that have created an attractive environment for investments and opened the way for the private sector to play its role easily, noting that it also removed all obstacles that may impede the contribution of the private sector in the Qatari economy and strengthened communication between government entities, business owners and investors.
In this context, HE Qatar Chamber Chairman called for providing more opportunities for the private sector to participate in major projects in the country, especially after demonstrating its ability to face the challenge and to create an integrated strategy and framework for the private sector’ participation in major projects in the country in all sectors.
HE Qatar Chamber Chairman (QC) Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani hailed the legislative reforms adopted by the State of Qatar to strengthen the private sector and increase its contribution to economic development.
The most important laws issued in this context are a law regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital and a law regulating economic zones in the country as well as other important laws that facilitate the business environment, he said.
He expected that the coming period will see more legislations that meet all the ambitions of the private sector and help it to participate effectively in the State’s economy.
Regarding the contribution of the private sector to the industrial sector, HE Chairman Qatar Chamber affirmed in his interview with QNA that the industrial sector in Qatar is moving towards a promising future, especially in light of the unprecedented mobility that is currently taking place as a result of the government’s unlimited support for the industrial sector which stems from the comprehensive strategy it has developed in this regard, and in light of the abundance of opportunities and incentives provided by the State to the private sector and foreign capital.
QC’s chairman noted that there are many facilities provided by the State of Qatar in terms of funding in addition to the government directives to provide financial facilities by banks, especially Qatar Development Bank (QDB) to support projects, especially the small and medium-sized enterprises as well as various logistics and industrial projects that will work to diversify the sources of economy in the country and enhance the competitiveness of the private sector.
HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani praised, in this context, the government’s directives to postpone loan installments to industrial project owners for up to six months, in order to support investors in the industrial sector and give greater role to the private sector in the economic development projects in the country.
As a result, these efforts made the State of Qatar the best attractive environment for foreign investments at the regional level and contributed to increasing the demand for investment in the industrial sector, he said, adding that the number of factories have increased by about 14% since the unjust siege.
The growth achieved by the industrial sector was a result of concerted efforts of the private sector and government, which led to a rise in the opening of factories that enters into production stage and the local and foreign markets, HE said.
Among the industries that flourished after the siege were food, pharmaceutical, medical, plastic, asphalt, iron, doors, windows and aluminum industries, in addition to the manufacture of furniture, decorations, electrical and plastic supplies, paper, recycling industries, packaging and other industries that contribute to achieving good rates of self-sufficiency for the local market, HE Qatar Chamber Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani added.
On the reasons for selecting Sultanate Oman to host the “Made in Qatar” exhibition next month, HE Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani said that the selection was due to several factors, the most important of which is the strong economic and trade relations between the private sector in the two countries and the brotherly relations between the two brotherly peoples.
He pointed out that there is a clear and developing cooperation between Qatari companies and their peers in Oman, with many Omani products in the Qatari market and Qatari products in the Omani market, in addition to the numerous partnerships between the two sides covering all economic and trade activities, reflected on the reality of the trade balance between the two countries, which has helped making successive leaps in a short period, while Qatari business owners still want to explore investment opportunities in the industrial sectors in the Sultanate.
HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani expressed confidence that the exhibition will be a great success and will result in commercial deals, partnerships and cooperation agreements between Omani and Qatari companies, adding that “Made In Qatar” will contribute to increasing the trade exchange volume between the two countries, after more than 240 Qatari companies and factories have explored the opportunities offered by the Omani market.
HE further enumerated the efforts exerted by Qatar Chamber to achieve national development goals, where it works to organize exhibitions, conferences and foreign visits to business owners, in addition to the organization of seminars that contribute to promoting the business climate in Qatar and informing Qatari investors about the available opportunities in friendly countries and promoting Qatari products. Qatar Chamber also organizes specialized conferences to enhance the participation of SMEs in local production and to review successful experiences in this area.
HE Qatar Chamber chairman affirmed that the Chamber will continue to support the State’s strategy of economic diversification of the productive base to achieve self-sufficiency and reduce imports in addition to encouraging Qatari companies and business owners to enter into new investment sectors and diversify their portfolios, entering into commercial partnerships with foreign companies and benefiting from their expertise and technology in increasing local production.
With regard to the role played by the Qatar Chamber to achieve further liberalization of trade and integration in world markets, HE pointed out that one of the most important roles played by the Qatar Chamber in this direction is the launch of the “World Trade Agenda”, a program launched in 2012, jointly with the International Chamber of Commerce, with the aim of contributing to the promotion of trade and investment worldwide and stimulating the global economy by helping to advance the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, which have been frozen for nearly 12 years, the Qatari initiative was aimed at reviving the Doha Round of global trade negotiations.