Qatar’s strategy in implementing public-private partnerships (PPPs) will play a key role in attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) to the country, according to Fahad Ali al-Kuwari, senior manager of Investor Relations at the Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar).
Al-Kuwari made the statement during a panel discussion held on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of Huawei’s new state-of-the-art office in Doha, which was inaugurated on Tuesday by HE the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohamed bin Ali bin Mohamed al-Mannai.
During the panel discussion, al-Kuwari discussed the role of PPPs in generating more FDI inflow into Qatar in light of the rapid development being witnessed in the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector and related industries.
Al-Kuwari pointed out that PPPs align the interests of the government, such as building infrastructure and expanding the nation’s capabilities, and with the private sector’s interest to maximise profit.
He said Qatar has already established successful PPPs in different sectors, including oil and gas, as well as in banking, among others. But Qatar is also expanding its PPP strategy to include other sectors, such as technology-related industries.
Al-Kuwari noted that “27%” of FDI inflows to Qatar was from tech industries, adding that the percentage is expected to grow going forward.
“I think tech is going to be foundational in business expansion and in all new emerging sectors...the challenge is how do we, as a state, regulate the foreign direct investment to the country and how do we maintain the relationship with incumbent investors like Huawei and other players of similar size from other geographies. PPP is a very delicate strategy, but if it’s done right, everyone benefits,” he stressed.
Through its Invest Qatar brand, IPA Qatar is playing a pivotal role in attracting FDI to the country. In its 2022 Annual Report, IPA Qatar announced that the country’s booming FDI ecosystem witnessed $29.78bn in capital expenditure and more than 13,900 new jobs created across 135 FDI projects last year.
The report stated: “Qatar marked substantial success in 2022, achieving $29.78bn in FDI capital expenditure. Backed by the country’s strong and stable economic growth and attractive investment prospects, 135 new FDI projects were recorded, creating 13,972 new jobs in 2022.
“This represents almost 25 times the value of FDI projects from the year before and a doubling of jobs created compared to 2021. The new jobs spanned across diverse sectors, including the oil and gas, software, and IT, as well as business services and automotive OEM sectors.”
The report further revealed that over 800 new foreign commercial establishments were initiated across the business licensing platforms.
HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Abdullah al-Thani, who is also chairman of IPA Qatar, stated in the report: “Last year saw us forge ahead on multiple fronts and across sectors and geographies. It has demonstrated the resilience of the country’s economy, established through a long-term strategy and decades of prudent investments.
“This year also offered invaluable opportunities for us to spotlight Qatar’s unceasing potential as an investment destination of choice and to further our engagement with partners and stakeholders worldwide.”
Similarly, Sheikh Ali Alwaleed al-Thani, CEO of IPA Qatar, commented: “2022 was a solid steppingstone for IPA Qatar, marked by substantial growth and deepened engagement with the international investment community, that saw us partner with numerous organisations in line with Qatar’s economic diversification efforts.
“We continue to improve and develop our services to make the Invest Qatar brand an embodiment of excellence and a long-term partner for investors. Building on last year’s successes, I am confident that we will support prospective investors into Qatar through a growing number of opportunities in 2023 and beyond.”
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