Three months into the Saudi-imposed economic blockade, Qatar startups and the manufacturing sector “are getting more support” from the government, which has laid out a number of self-sufficiency and sustainability-related projects, an official of a Qatari company said.
“As a nation we are aiming to become more self-sufficient; considering the amount of Qatar’s wealth, this goal can be achieved through the wise leadership of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. This will also enable the government to develop areas it had not focused on earlier.
“Today, several new startups are getting a major push from the Qatari government and companies are beginning to invest more in newer projects. So definitely the blockade has acted as a great stimulant for the development of local businesses in Qatar, said Anoop Krishnan, the COO of end-to-end IT solutions provider Cherry Computer.
Prior to the blockade, Krishnan said the market was rife with “freelancers” or unregistered companies that are operating in some Asian and GCC countries. However, increased focus on local companies since June 5 helped considerably trim down the presence of freelancers in the market, “some of which do not even have a physical presence in Qatar,” Krishnan said.
“While there are still some freelancers operating in the market, the focus on local businesses since the blockade was a positive development for companies like us,” Krishnan pointed out.
He also underpinned the role of Qatar’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector in nation-building and economic development. “Two of the primary roles of the SME sector would be wealth creation and employment generation in the country,” he said.
Krishnan said the development of Qatar’s SME sector will create a spill-over effect on less-developed areas around the country when SMEs start setting up new businesses in less populated locations “to maintain cheaper operating costs.”
“The growth of industries and business in these areas will lead to great infrastructural development like better roads, new schools, hospitals, shopping malls, and other public and private services that would otherwise have taken a different timeframe had there not been a blockade.
“Adding to this is the already developing Qatar Rail project, which is going to interconnect neighbouring communities. There will be a serious growth in GDP and per capita income, which is again one of the essential goals of economic development,” Krishnan stressed.
The expected rise in the standard of living in Qatar and infrastructural development in areas like education, healthcare, and other public services “would be a direct result of the country’s growing entrepreneurship culture,” Krishnan said.