HE the chairman of Qatar Chamber (QC) Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani said the number of new companies registered with QC since the beginning of the siege until the end of August 2018 reached about 21,000.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), he stressed this shows the attractive investment climate in Qatar, which has not been affected by the unjust siege imposed on the country.
The QC chairman praised Qatar's flexible and multifaceted economic strategy, which is in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, making the country achieve significant economic development over the past years. He specially mentioned the growth of the oil and non-oil sectors, where the contribution of the private sector to the GDP increased significantly, especially with support given by the wise leadership and the remarkable governance.
In this context, Sheikh Khalifa added that the leadership wants the private sector to play a greater role in economic development, and to pave the way for its participation in the State's projects, the government has issued a number of decisions.
He said the private sector has succeeded in taking a prominent position in the Qatari economy, especially during the siege, taking advantage of the government initiatives that paved the way for it to be a true partner in economic growth.
He underlined that the private sector helped to produce all necessary products, raise production, open up new channels of communication with foreign markets and launch thousands of companies and factories that helped overcome any possible negative impact by the siege on the economy.
The QC chairman said agriculture, tourism, education, food and pharmaceutical industries still needed more private investment, stressing that QC encourages businessmen to have discussions with trade delegations aimed at transferring foreign experiences and technology to Qatar.
Qatar Chamber is working to organise a variety of exhibitions to enable Qatari companies to showcase their products and increase their promotion both in the domestic and external markets, he said, adding that QC also communicates with the concerned authorities in the country to remove all obstacles to investors and facilitate procedures for establishing businesses in these sectors.
Sheikh Khalifa said the private sector is enjoying its best time, especially in light of the great support and success achieved during the siege, adding that the outstanding performance of the Qatari private sector surprised everyone during the siege.
He told QNA that Qatari products replaced many foreign products, noting the participation of the private sector in major projects in the country, and the new laws and regulations attracted more domestic and foreign investments.
He called for benefiting from the attractive atmosphere and the continued support the sector received, working to make the private sector to move into the infrastructure projects, the World Cup 2022 projects and non-traditional investment sectors, as well as opening up new markets for the Qatari products to increase its competitiveness globally and increasing partnership with public sector.
With regard to the growth witnessed by the agricultural production in the country during the siege period, he explained that the sector is of great importance to the authorities. He pointed out that the State has provided the appropriate infrastructure to push this sector forwards by securing stores equipped with the latest storage methods and removed all obstacles that may hinder the growth of this vital sector. He also revealed that the number of agricultural companies established in the country since the beginning of the siege reached about 164.
In co-operation with Qatar Chamber and the Ministry of Municipalities and Environment, Hassad Food Company (HASSAD) has established a local marketing and agricultural services company (Mahaseel) which aims to support local farmers by marketing their products, as well as providing various other agricultural services, he added.
Sheikh Khalifa called for providing more opportunities for the private sector to participate in major projects in the country.
He hailed the legislative reforms adopted by the State of Qatar to strengthen the private sector and increase its contribution to economic development. The most important laws issued in this context are a law regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital and a law regulating economic zones in the country as well as other important laws that facilitate the business environment, he said.
He said the industrial sector in Qatar is moving towards a promising future, especially in light of the unprecedented mobility that is currently taking place as a result of the government's unlimited support for the industrial sector.
QC's chairman noted that the country provided many facilities in terms of funding in addition to the government directives to provide financial facilities by banks, especially Qatar Development Bank (QDB) to support projects, especially the small and medium-sized enterprises as well as logistics and industrial projects.
Sheikh Khalifa praised, in this context, the government's directives to defer loan instalments to industrial project owners for up to six months. The number of factories have increased by about 14% since the unjust siege began, he said.
Among the industries that flourished after the siege were food, pharmaceutical, medical, plastic, asphalt, iron, doors, windows and aluminium industries, in addition to the manufacture of furniture, decorations, electrical and plastic supplies, paper, recycling industries, packaging and other industries that contribute to achieving good rates of self-sufficiency for the local market, he added.
Sheikh Khalifa pointed out that there is a clear and developing co-operation between Qatari companies and their peers in Oman, with many Omani products in the Qatari market and Qatari products in the Omani market.
He expressed confidence that the 'Made In Qatar' exhibition will be a great success and will result in commercial deals, partnerships and co-operation agreements between Omani and Qatari companies, adding more than 200 Qatari companies and factories have explored the opportunities offered by the Omani market.
He explained the efforts by the Qatar Chamber to achieve national development goals, where it works to organise exhibitions, conferences and foreign visits to business owners, in addition to organising seminars that contribute to promoting the business climate in Qatar. Qatar Chamber also organises conferences to enhance the participation of SMEs in local production, he said.
With regard to the role played by the Qatar Chamber to achieve further liberalisation of trade and integration in world markets, Sheikh Khalifa pointed out that one of the most important roles played by the Qatar Chamber in this direction is the launch of the "World Trade Agenda", a program launched in 2012, jointly with the International Chamber of Commerce, with the aim of contributing to the promotion of trade and investment worldwide and stimulating the global economy by helping to advance the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, which have been frozen for nearly 12 years, the Qatari initiative was aimed at reviving the Doha Round of global trade negotiations.
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