The population policy of Qatar 2017-2022, which was launched on Tuesday, will have a positive impact on the demographics and reduce its negative consequences, HE the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi, has said.
Speaking during the celebration of Qatar Population Day, HE al-Nuaimi said all the ministries, institutions and entities in the country are doing their best to co-ordinate with the Permanent Population Committees' technical office to achieve a balance between the population growth and the requirements of sustainable development, which in turn guarantees decent life for the residents of Qatar, increases their capabilities and expands their choices, and increases the participation levels in the development of the Qatari society.
The minister said the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs is working on implementing a number of initiatives that aim to develop the national human capacities and give the required importance to the youth, who are the state's pillar and foundation for its future, by providing them with the necessary skills, experience, motivation and career path. This, in turn, guarantees the youth's efficient involvement in the labour market, increases productivity levels, focuses on turning into a knowledge-based society to develop research and innovation as a basic foundation to move towards the desired future and face the current obstacles, HE al-Nuaimi added.
The minister said Qatar gives great attention to the population policy strategy due to its belief that the human factor is a cornerstone in the national sustainable development plans that comply with Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030, which was the basis on which the population policy of the State was built.
HE al-Nuaimi explained that one of the five main obstacles that the QNV is dealing with, is balancing between development path and the volume and quality of expatriate workers, revealing that rapid population growth is mainly due to the continuous increase in the expatriate labour force associated with rapid economic growth in the State.
HE the minister of administrative development, labour and social affairs said the State of Qatar is witnessing an important phase in its history reflected in its continuous path towards achieving comprehensive and sustainable development, confirmed by the international and regional reports on human development and the economic growth rates of the country. He explained that what Qatar is witnessing at this time is an important demographic turning point for the future through a shift towards a knowledge-based economy.
HE al-Nuaimi said that through the national strategy, the government was able to set the required plans and programmes for the population policy in the State and to prosper the Qatari national to achieve the optimal goals that Qatar aims for progress, prosperity and achieving the welfare of the citizen.
The minister said the state is aware of the size of obstacles that face the achievement of the goals and aims of the population policy and the difficulty of maintaining high development on one hand, and managing population growth, maintaining social balance and stability and achieving the target composition of labour market on the other hand.
HE al-Nuaimi said the large demand for labour will shift towards dependency on high-skilled labour whilst concentrating on national labour. He noted that the population policy, which complements the national development strategy, will support national efforts towards forming the required highly-skilled national labour force, in addition to attracting the suitable expatriate labour, protecting their rights and ensuring their safety, and preserving those with outstanding skills.
Meanwhile, HE the Minister of Development Planning and Statistics Dr Saleh Mohamed Salem al-Nabit said that the population policy of the State of Qatar (2017-2022) gives priority to address the imbalances in the country's demographics.
Addressing a news conference held on Tuesday on the occasion of Qatar Population Day, the minister said that the last period was a stage of economic development in which Qatar focused on the processing of infrastructure and the construction sector.
The dependence during this stage was on unskilled labour, which constituted a high percentage of the labour force in the country compared to skilled labour, which has produced some kind of imbalance in the demographics that the new policy will address in the coming period, along with other imbalances, including the difference between males and females, the age gap, and other things that require gradual reform that adjusts the new demographics.
The minister underlined that the launch of the new population policy represents a milestone in the process of the Permanent Population Committee, explaining that the new policy will be more comprehensive, easier to apply and more relevant to the evolving development needs, and that the resources and investments accumulated in human capital represent the fundamental value of many societies.
He added that the accumulation of knowledge and the creation of an environment conducive to creativity, innovation and achievement is a vital issue for Qatar which may take some time, but the steps taken so far are very important.
The minister noted that the reduction of the steady population increase was a great challenge to overcome in light of the State's major shift in the path of development and seeking to achieve important development gains that require more employment. However, the minister said that the increase in population has seen a decreasing rate since the beginning of last year, making it somewhat close to the natural increase of the population.