Fostering an innovation ecosystem is imperative for Qatar to develop a knowledge-based sustainable economy, according to experts at the recently roundtable, organised by Ibtechar."In recent months, we have been approached by different governmental, corporate, private and local institutions with one big question: How can we incorporate innovation in our organisations? These institutions faced certain challenges in striking a balance between developing the skills of their employees and applying their set strategies and frameworks with the objective of enhancing innovation," said Nayef al-Ibrahim, chief executive officer and co-founder of Ibtechar.This drove it to reflect on the subject and communicate with different stakeholders to identify the best solutions, he said at the event, titled ‘Corporate Innovations for Sustainable Growth’, convening industry leaders, experts, and innovators to foster insightful discussions, knowledge sharing, and collaboration to drive positive impact on businesses, the environment, and society.David Luong, Digital Innovation Hub Leader at Hamad International Airport (HIA), defined corporate innovation and listed its sources as well as the enablers of transformative innovation.Technology can be a wonderful medium for fostering inspiration and innovation, he said, adding ChatGPT, artificial intelligence, drones, robotics and supply chain networks are typical models of innovation."If a company wants to grow and thrive, it is significantly important for it to apply a supportive innovation culture and strategy. Additionally, it has to pay great attention to the engagement of its staff, stakeholders and customers to ensure that they are part of its transformative innovation journey," Luong said.AlHasan AlSammarraie, founding managing partner at Applab, said technology has become a cornerstone for innovation and digital transformation."Innovation is all about adopting existing technologies, frameworks, methodologies to tackle problems that may affect the sustainability of a company such as reporting as well as measuring and reducing the direct costs of a company," he said.The roundtable was part of a series of roundtables organized by Ibtechar, under its commitment to building a knowledge-based economy in Qatar by propelling practical innovation across all levels of society. To this end, the Ibtechar roundtables provide a platform for active dialogue, knowledge exchange and increased collaboration between various stakeholders and sectors.
The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has completed the development of the Lusail International Circuit’s race track along with the main buildings, grandstands and infrastructure, it was announced yesterday.The country is making final preparations to host Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix competitions from October 6- 8. The 5.38km race track has 16 turns.Engineer Youssef al-Emadi, Projects Affairs director, said Ashghal has contributed once again in paving the way for hosting one of the most prominent sporting events in the world this year. “This is a new achievement added to Qatar’s track record of hosting the biggest international sporting events,” he noted, while explaining that the development works were completed within just seven months in accordance with the highest international specifications and the precise requirements of Formula 1.Abdulrahman bin Abdullatif al-Mannai, president of Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation and president of Lusail International Circuit, said the comprehensive renovation qualifies it to host the most important local and international competitions.Engineer Saoud al-Tamimi, manager of the Roads Projects Department, said the project includes works to develop intersections and surrounding roads with a total length of 21 km.Engineer Jarallah al-Marri, manager of the Buildings Projects Department, said new buildings were constructed and facilities accompanying the circuit developed over a total area estimated at 100,000 sq m. “A larger fan zone was provided, and 5-star VIP areas were added, and the capacity of the grandstands and parking lots increased,” he said.Engineer Hamad al-Bader, acting assistant manager of the Buildings Projects Department and the project manager, said the project aimed to develop the racetrack and upgrade the Circuit’s facilities and infrastructure.Engineer Ahmed Abu Nahia, the project manager, along with the work team expressed happiness with the completion of this important project through great cooperation and coordination among government entities.The Lusail International Circuit now has new sidewalks, barriers and safety elements, lighting systems, and landscaping works around the track. Additionally, 85 external electronic screens have been installed, with a total area of 6,848 sq m. Works also included the construction of three tunnels south and north of the Circuit and a pedestrian tunnel.The track has been initially approved by Formula 1, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and the International Motorcycle Federation (FIM), with the final approval of the track to take place at the beginning of October.Engineer Fatma al-Abdulmalek, project engineer in the Buildings Projects Department, said about 15,000 indoor and outdoor parking spaces are provided. These included VIP parking, in addition to increasing the circuit’s capacity to 40,000 spectators including the main and temporary grandstands, the guest grandstand, the preparation building grandstand, and the natural grandstand (Lusail Hill), a high hill from which spectators can watch the race, along with a group of viewing stands around the circuit. As much as 180,000 sq m of green spaces were also implemented.The works of the Lusail International Circuit’s Academy (Qatar Motor Sports Academy) are currently being implemented and scheduled to be completed in November 2023. Service roads being constructed to serve urban growth in the area are expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024.Engineer Ahmed Abu Nahia said the project included the installation of many complex and heavy steel structures, each of which had its own challenges.Constructing the VVIP building’s canopy, according to him, was the most difficult task in the project, as it has a diametre of 60m and a total weight of 330 tonnes. Installing the canopy of Al Majlis building as a single piece, weighing 68 tonnes was another challenge as it required the use of a 400-tonne crawler crane. This task required careful coordination and a specialised work team with high skills.The project included the implementation of several huge steel canopies throughout the circuit to add an aesthetic appearance to the open areas, including the paddock area. A canopy equipped with a giant screen was built for the escalator of the race car preparation building (PIT). The VIP hospitality platform in the PIT building also featured a uniquely designed spiral staircase surrounded by V-shaped steel columns, and a large steel platform overlooking the circuit’s starting line.The project also included a workshop building which was built entirely from steel pieces, with an area of 2,470 sq m and a height of 14 m in addition to the steel structures to install giant screens in various areas.
Darwin Nunez has made big strides in his second season at Liverpool, manager Juergen Klopp said on Sunday after the Uruguayan striker scored in their 3-1 Premier League win over West Ham United.The 24-year-old has scored 12 goals and registered four assists in 35 league appearances since being signed from Portuguese club Benfica last year for an initial fee of €75mn ($79.85mn).After struggling in front of goal in his debut campaign at the club, Nunez has netted three goals and provided one assist in his six league appearances so far this season. He also had a goal and an assist in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over LASK in the Europa League on Thursday. “Massive steps in the last few weeks. He is a threat,” Klopp said. “He was always available for us; it is super-important for us that we have now - I am not sure it’s the right word - a ball player.“The defensive work he puts in now, that’s probably the main difference. He always wanted, but it was less coordinated. Now that looks much better and we found a way how we can do it around him.”Liverpool are unbeaten in their league and are in second place, two points behind Manchester City. They next host Championship side Leicester City in the League Cup tomorrow, followed by a league visit to fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
The State of Qatar strongly condemned the tearing of copies of the Holy Quran in front of a number of countries' embassies in the Dutch city of The Hague, considering this vile incident as a planned act of incitement and a serious provocation intended to stir up public opinion and inflame the feelings of Muslims.In a statement on Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned that allowing infringement of the Holy Quran under the pretext of freedom of expression fuels hatred and violence and threatens peaceful coexistence.The Ministry stressed the State of Qatar's complete rejection of all forms of hate speech based on belief, race, or religion, and also warned that hate campaigns against Islam and Islamophobic speech have witnessed a dangerous escalation with the continued systematic calls to repeatedly target Muslims in the world.The Ministry renewed the State of Qatar's full support for the values of tolerance and its keenness to establish the principles of international peace and security through dialogue and understanding. (QNA)
The Arab and international media followed with great interest the speech delivered by HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the opening session of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78), held Tuesday in New York City, USA, as large portion of their news coverage were devoted to it.The media also highlighted the Arab and international issues included in the speech, focusing on HHs statement that the State of Qatar continues to adhere to the principled position on the justice of the Palestinian issue, which has become a test of the credibility of the worlds politicians towards the Middle East.Under the title: Qatar's Amir Vows to Continue Efforts to Promote Peace, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) referred to HH the Amirs reaffirmation of "the importance of resolving disputes with peaceful means," declaring his country's commitment to continuing efforts to facilitating and making peace.KUNA added that HH the Amir said that this matter constitutes a "firm commitment deeply rooted in the core of our foreign policy," explaining that "responsibility also prompts the State to strengthen its role in providing humanitarian aid, exerting mediation efforts and resolving conflicts that affect our region."KUNA explained that HH the Amir affirmed that Qatar "continues its adherence to the firm stance regarding the fairness of this cause, which has become a credibility test for world politicians in relation to the Middle East region," adding that "Qatar provides political, humanitarian and developmental support to the brotherly Palestinian people and contributes to the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip which is reeling under the siege, in addition to its continuous contribution to UNRWA funds."The Jordan News Agency (Petra) reported that HH the Amir said that the Palestinian cause became "a credibility test for world politicians in relation to the Middle East region," adding that Qatar, "continues its adherence to the firm stance regarding the fairness of this cause," and "provides political, humanitarian and development support to the brotherly Palestinian people and contributes towards rebuilding the Gaza Strip which is reeling under the siege, in addition to its continuous contribution to UNRWA funds."The Algeria Press Service also noted HH the Amir's statements on the Palestinian issue and how it is not acceptable for the Palestinian people to remain prisoners of the Israeli settler occupation arbitrariness, and the rejection of any just political solution, pointing out that the "the failure of the international organization to take actions against the occupation provided and continues to provide the opportunity for Israel to undermine the foundations of the two-state solution by means of settlement expansion until the occupation has brazenly taken the form of an apartheid regime in the broad daylight."Turkiye's Anadolu Agency noted HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani's call to support the Palestinian people to find a just political solution in addition to stopping the fighting in Sudan that has been raging for five months.The Agency also highlighted HH the Amir's response to the incidents of burning copies of the Holy Qur'an in a number of European countries, where he said "I would say to my Muslim brethren that it is implausible for us to get distracted by an idiot or a biased person whenever it occurs to him to provoke us by burning the Holy Qur'an or by other forms of triviality. The Qur'an is too Holy to be desecrated by a witless person," adding that "I would say to all those who seek to justify these hideous acts as freedom of expression: compromising the sanctity of others deliberately should not be seen as an example of the freedom of expression."In a related context, many visual media outlets followed the speech of HH the Amir at the UNGA.A report by Oman TV, which was covering the speeches delivered by world leaders at the UNGA, stated that the speech of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani included a call of solidarity and efforts for a safer and more stable world, pointing out to HH the Amir's speech where he said, "if we truthfully constitute an international community, and not a merely diverse entities, it must be our duty to strive towards ending the injustice afflicting them, at least in accordance with what is required by the resolutions of this body, and entailed by international law. It is not acceptable for the Palestinian people to remain prisoners of the Israeli settler occupation arbitrariness, and the rejection of any just political solution in accordance with the principles of international legitimacy by successive Israeli governments. You have to bear in mind that the failure of the international organization to take actions against the occupation provided and continues to provide the opportunity for Israel to undermine the foundations of the two-state solution by means of settlement expansion."The Lebanese Al-Jadeed TV quoted in its news bulletin an excerpt from HH the Amir's speech, noting that the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani stressed in his speech the necessity of finding a sustainable solution to the political vacuum in Lebanon and introducing mechanisms to prevent it from recurring.HH the Amir's speech received the attention of Turkish channel TRT Arabic, which stated in its report that the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani pointed that the peoples on earth are living in two different eras due to the contradiction between scientific and technological development and the spread of famines and wars that have exacerbated the migration crisis.The report, which appeared in the news bulletin, quoted part of HH the Amir's speech in which he said,"in areas such as genetics and artificial intelligence, the possibilities for realizing the well-being of all humanity are increasing. But the gap between possibility and reality is also widening. However, as these possibilities are unfolding in the same era, there are peoples who are grappling with child labor, starvation, unemployment, and civil wars, while developed countries guard their borders against the influx of refugees fleeing this suffering." (QNA)
Qatar National Bank (QNB) anticipated that the increasing and unprecedented levels of debt may lead to significant and long-term risks that may limit the growth of the global economy during the coming period due to financial restrictions imposed on companies, and potential vulnerabilities in emerging markets.Qatar National Bank (QNB) in its weekly commentary that the Covid-19 pandemic represented a negative shock of unprecedented magnitude to the global economy, causing the sharpest contraction in activity ever recorded in quarterly national accounts. In response, extraordinary monetary and fiscal policies were put in place to provide support to households and firms, to preserve the economies from a deeper potential collapse. Low interest rates and quantitative easing from central banks, combined with expansionary fiscal policy, fueled unprecedented credit growth. This resulted in skyrocketing public and private debt across the world, adding to the trend that had begun with the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Since then, government debt has more than doubled to reach USD 85.7 trillion, while total global debt stands at USD 304.9 trillion.Debt levels are not only high by historical standards, they are also expected to continue to rise broadly around the world. In the context of high and rising interest rates, debt becomes even more relevant as a potential drag to GDP growth. In QNB's view, to understand the overall debt dynamics and the risks they pose for long-run growth, it is important to break down the origin of debt increases, as well as to differentiate between advanced economies (AE) and emerging markets (EM). First, rising debt levels in AE are mostly accounted for by the deterioration of public sector accounts and the need to fund ever growing deficits. In 2023, total government debt in AE reached USD 59.7 trillion, an increase of 60% relative to the USD 37.4 trillion after the GFC, equivalent to 113.6% of global GDP.High government debt levels in AE are set to harm growth by diverting resources away from investment. As governments increase their borrowing, the issues of new debt compete with the private sector for a given amount of savings available. As a result, real interest rates increase, which can "crowd out" private investment, and therefore limit economic growth.Second, elevated corporate ineptness combined with higher interest rates can create a "debt overhang" problem that hinders investment by firms. The Covid-19 pandemic generated a massive disruption in economic activity that impacted sales and profits of firms around the world. In order to keep firms operational and contain the destruction of jobs, governments implemented injections of liquidity through loan guarantees as well as new lines of credit. Although, total debt in nonfinancial corporations as share of GDP has declined from its peaks during 2020 in both AE and EM, they are still above their pre-pandemic levels. Now, in a scenario with higher interest rates and tighter credit standards, this can result in a "debt overhang" in firms, where they will find it harder to obtain funding for new investments. Third, an assessment of debt dynamics in EM requires a further differentiation between China and other EM. In the period from Q1-2010 to Q1-2023, China accounted for 65% of the growth in government debt, and 76% of growth in nonfinancial private debt in EM. In China, debt had a very particular form, as the country benefited from abundant domestic savings, the debt was mostly financed by residents in local currency. This prevents the country from suffering the standard balance of payment pressures that affect other EM during periods of economic stress. Hence, China is better positioned to engineer a deleveraging process in the future.In contrast, debt in other EM tends to have a funding profile with more significant participation of external funding, or in hard currencies from advanced economies, making them vulnerable to external shocks and "sudden-stops" in capital inflows. Such vulnerability could be even more pronounced in the current scenario, where tighter monetary policy in major advanced economies pulls capital away from riskier EM. In the past, debt crisis in EM were triggered by sharp increases in international interest rates. High levels of debt now leave the more risky EM exposed to financial distress that can make refinancing difficult, and result in a crisis that resembles previous experiences.All in all, unprecedented and rising debt levels pose significant risks to the global economy going forward, through the diversion of funds from productive investments, financial constraints in the corporate sector, and potential vulnerabilities in EM. (QNA)