Qatar’s Second National Development Strategy (2018-2022), launched by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani yesterday, has outlined a national strategic roadmap for the next five years, after mobilising efforts to guide the activities and resources available to meet the national priorities set for this period, and thus making it clear that the economic prosperity of Qatar will be sustained through the development of economic infrastructure, economic diversification, private sector development, natural resources management, human development, sustainable social development and sustainable environment development.
The new strategy is characterised by the addition of a new chapter dealing with global partnerships for development, which aims to strengthen Qatar’s role at regional and international levels, raise the level of international partnerships and contribute effectively to regional and international peace and security.
The strategy also included a new chapter on strategic performance management, which is also considered as a compass to monitor implementation, ensure smooth and efficient follow-up, and to know obstacles and work to overcome them in a timely manner, taking advantage of the lessons of the first strategy to focus on results and outputs through monitoring key performance indicators to determine the safety of their implementation.
According to the strategy book issued yesterday, efficient implementation of the national development strategy will continue to be subject to modernisation of the public sector and upgrading its performance, in order to complement the efforts exerted in this direction and the transition of the implementing government entities from the state of recognising the importance of planning as a tool to achieve the results, to the regular application of institutional practices in the preparation of the executive plans, medium-term strategy and annual output plans.
The new strategy book said that its preparation was influenced by the emerging conditions in terms of government structure and economic developments, the number of sectors was reduced from 14 sectors in the first strategy to eight sectors in the second strategy, organised according to the four pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030.
The second national development strategy (2018-2022) addressed the most important challenges facing the first national development strategy (2011-2016). Through a broad participatory process, the second national strategy, adopted the national priority development agenda for the coming years to the end of 2022, by emphasising and re-evaluating national development goals, identifying obstacles and re-evaluating priorities, lessons learned and what can be achieved on the ground.
According to the new strategy, Qatar will focus during the next five years on reforms in the area of policy and motivation, and enhance productivity at all levels, and devote efforts of economic diversification, and participants in the second national development strategy are expected to focus on strengthening their institutional and organisational capacities, formulating incentive frameworks and policies to attract the private sector, enhancing their contribution to the local economy and enhancing productivity in all its dimensions.
The new strategy seeks to achieve its objectives driven by expectations that the real economy will grow during the period (2018-2022) by the activities of the non-oil and gas sector, especially in the sectors of merchandise and traded services, while the rationalisation of government spending in this period will balance the public financial balance of the country, and facilitates the creation of a wider space for private sector activities.
The second National Development Strategy stressed that maintaining the economic performance of Qatar to achieve the goals of its National Vision 2030 should be institutionally linked to sustainable development programmes and plans. The strategy noted that despite the great legislative and regulatory efforts to consolidate these values, achieving sustainability requires continuous and integrated efforts based on outstanding international experiences, as well as vigorous efforts to build national economic capacities, both institutional and human, and to preserve them as a national wealth and heritage for future generations.
According to the strategy, the sustainability of the economic boom requires more investment in the economic infrastructure, which in turn would raise the efficiency of the economy and expand its absorptive capacity, avoid bottlenecks and increase its competitiveness.
It cautioned that although many achievements have been made in the economic infrastructure sector such as transport, communications and information and the supply of electricity, water, sanitation and construction networks, it is difficult to determine the extent to which they meet the economic and human needs and the efficiency of operation and maintenance.
In this context, the strategy cited international indicators, including the infrastructure index, in which Qatar ranked 18th out of 138 countries in 2016, and the logistics performance index in which Qatar ranked 30th out of 160 countries in 2016. The strategy, however, called for action to overcome future challenges facing the economic infrastructure sector by developing a supportive infrastructure for the national economy that is sustainable, high quality and able to keep up with the latest technology systems.
This can be achieved through the provision of sustainable water, increasing the production of traditional and renewable energy, recycling of project waste, more co-ordination among relevant government agencies, particularly in the identification of project priorities, the exact size of their investments, the expected demand and the issuance of appropriate legislation, as well as the provision of data and technical capabilities of human cadres, and addressing issues related to electronic security, according to the Strategy.
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