* Exhibition to open up new horizons for diverse businesses in Qatar and allow investors direct access to projects in the country
* Event is a celebration of Qatar's strong relations with its prominent partners from around the world
* IPEC is proof that blockade has failed in achieving its goals of weakening the country's economy
A number of businessmen and private sector actors in Qatar on Saturday highlighted the importance of the role of the first International Products Exhibition and Conference (IPEC) in promoting trade between Qatar and regional and other countries.
The event, taking place at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre from tomorrow until October 10, will highlight the most important investment opportunities and explore ways to overcome the challenges of expanding investments in the region.
They said the exhibition will open up new horizons for diverse businesses in Qatar and allow investors direct access to projects in the country. A large number of politicians, business leaders and government officials from across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) will participate in the event.
Qatar Chamber (QC) board member Sheikh Hamad bin Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Thani, who is also a member of the conference's organising committee, said the exhibition is a celebration of Qatar's strong relations with its prominent partners from around the world, and expressed hope that it will contribute to enhancing trade ties with participating countries and open new horizons for Qatari investors to enhance their investments in these countries.
On his part, QC second vice-chairman Rashid bin Hamad al-Athba said the conference is a blow to the blockade imposed on the country for more than a year, and proof that it has failed in achieving its goals of weakening the country's economy. He stressed that the State of Qatar remains an attractive investment destinations for foreign capital.
Sheikh Hamad stressed that the conference reflects the government's interest in supporting Qatar's trade and economic relations with other countries by exploring new markets for Qatari products and by enhancing the presence of foreign investments in Qatar.
Sheikh Hamad highlighted the importance of the exhibition in contributing to the development of trade and economic development in the world, as the conference's events will focus more on shaping the future of development in the region by presenting ideas and perspectives on various trade and economic matters, in addition to reviewing initiatives made at the national, governmental and commercial levels.
He also said the conference will feature a wide range of important global issues, with a greater focus on the challenges facing the region, notably the strategies for managing sustainable economic growth, developing international cooperation among nations, reviewing the future of growth and innovation in airlines and travel trends.
One of the topics will focus on the potential of visa-free travel for the world's citizens, while other topics will discuss embracing innovative startups in the region and facilitating the activity of small and medium enterprises.
He highlighted the role the exhibition will play in promoting Qatar's tourism sector as it will provide an opportunity to learn about the tourist places in the country and familiarise the participating countries with the measures taken by Qatar to enhance the tourism sector and increase its contribution to the country's GDP as well as the steps taken by the State to attract more tourists through different activities.
Al-Athba, meanwhile, stressed that the Qatari economy was not negatively affected by the blockade, but has gotten more powerful instead. He added that Qatari companies participating in the exhibition will benefit from exchanging expertise with their counterparts in 11 countries participating in the event. He noted that IPEC represents an important platform for enhancing trade exchange between Qatar and these countries, and opens new horizons of co-operation between Qatari business owners and their counterparts in the participating countries.
QC board member Mohamed bin Ahmed al-Obaidly said IPEC is an international platform involving government officials and private sector representatives from key Mena countries who will discuss the best mechanisms for enhancing trade and economic co-operation for the benefit of Qatar's economy and economies.
He added that the exhibition will provide an important opportunity to introduce companies to Qatar's infrastructure development projects in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He added that it will also be an opportunity for major companies from participating countries to co-operate with their Qatari counterparts by entering into commercial and economic partnerships and alliances that serve both sides.
Meanwhile, QC board member Ali Abdullatif al-Misnad said the conference will discuss the promotion of economic co-operation among the participating countries, especially with regard to sustainable economic development, which is one of the pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030. He also stressed that Qatar is on the right track to achieve this goal.
For his part, QC board member Khalid bin Jabor bin Towar al-Kuwari said the conference will enhance communication between Qatari companies and the ones participating from abroad, which he said would in turn contribute to increasing trade exchange between Qatar and these nations.
He added that the Chamber, in its work on enhancing co-operation between Qatari businessmen and their counterparts from the participating countries, is working on promoting Qatari products through exhibitions it organises or participates in. He added that the exhibition will help Qatari companies promote their products and enter into commercial deals and co-operation agreements with companies from different countries in the Mena region.
Al-Kuwari stressed that QC is a strong supporter of all the policies of the State regarding opening up the Qatari economy to all countries and strengthening co-operation between Qatar and the various countries of the world. He noted that the exhibition and the conference, which is attended by several companies from 11 countries, is a good opportunity to celebrate strong trade relations with prominent partners from around the world.
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