By Usha Wagle Gautam
Nepali entrepreneurs say that the illegal blockade against Qatar has not
negatively impacted their businesses.
It has been four months since the Saudi-led illegal blockade against Qatar started. But the country has bravely withstood the challenge. Nepali entrepreneurs – mostly involved in construction and trading – say their businesses have not been negatively impacted.
When the blockade started, many said they were anxious. Nepal had faced a similar blockade in 2015 and had to deal with severe scarcity of food and fuel. However, Nepali entrepreneurs said they have been amazed by the spectacular resolve and financial performance of Qatar against all odds.
Community caught up with some Nepali entrepreneurs to talk about how their businesses were doing.
Raj Regmi operates Phidias Projects & Construction in Qatar. He said he is glad that he has provided multiple jobs to people through his company. He says the blockade against Qatar has not affected his business much. His workers have not lost their jobs and their families back home continue to be supported. Regmi feels there is strong leadership in Qatar, which can lead it to the next level of economic performance.
“Qatar is a country that sticks to its plans and programmes.” Regmi feels the ambitious Qatar Vision 2030 will make the financial environment in the country even more fertile and that the country will continue to witness development and prosperity.
Mahendra Chamlagai has been in Qatar for the past 20 years and has made his way up the ladder to eventually run his own manpower and contracting company. He says he was fearful for the first two hours after the blockade was announced, but then all his fears went away. Chamlagai has not seen any downs in his business – which primarily involves hiring workers from Nepal, India, Bangladesh and the Philippines. In fact, he says, the volume of his business has gone up. Chamlagai stresses on Qatar being a leading economic power in the region and it has become one of the world’s fastest-growing and most successful economies. Qatar is also attractive for investors, he says, as the rules are very clear and realistic.
RK Sharma has been in Qatar for 15 years and runs a company with over 1,500 employees. Sharma says when he first heard the news, he was sure the blockade won’t last a week. But even though it hasn’t ended, the unjust siege has not affected his business. “Calling off the blockade will be of more benefit to the countries that have imposed it,” he said. Sharma added that the morale in his company is high. Some workers even told him that they have decided to delay their planned annual vacations to show solidarity with the country. Sharma feels Qatar’s strategic plan to deal with the blockade has been extremely effective. “Qatar has a clear plan to deal with problems, so it is hard to shake it.”
Gobinda KC first came to Qatar in 1999 as a tourist and eventually ended up setting up a construction company here by the name of Qatar Nep Trading and Contracting Co. Starting with 30 employees, he now employs 500 workers. He said his business is going as usual. His company is a sub-contractor on a stadium and has not faced any supply issues. Gobinda said he salutes His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani for his outstanding and exemplary leadership. Due to its strong and resilient economic structure, Qatar is hard to weaken, he says. “In my view, Qatar has become more independent since the blockade and the businesses here will run better going forward than before.”
Prakash Koirala started off with a small business that has grown thanks to the conducive business environment in Qatar. “Equality for all nationalities is what defines Qatar. There are no complaints from my side and none from my employees.” Koirala credits the strong leadership of Qatar for successfully dealing with the blockade. “Committed leadership, grand vision and mutually rewarding relationship with international partners have helped Qatar in dealing with the blockade.” Koirala feels the embargo makes Qatar even stronger and that its economic outlook will remain strong in the years ahead, backed by strong growth, stable inflation and large fiscal and current account surpluses. An attempt was made to isolate Qatar economically by its Gulf neighbours, but its financial markets have stabilised after an initial period of uncertainty, he said. Qatar has many characteristics that make it suitable for being an industrial hub, such as an excellent location and its strong connectivity to major neighbouring markets like Iran, Jordan, Turkey and India, Koirala added.
When the blockade started, some said they were anxious. Nepal had faced a similar blockade in 2015 and had to deal with severe scarcity of food and fuel. However, Nepali entrepreneurs say they have been amazed by the spectacular resolve and financial performance of Qatar against all odds
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