Qatar ties stronger despite blockade: Al-Kuwari
December 17 2018 07:57 PM
HE al-Kuwari: Remarkable economic growth in 2018
HE al-Kuwari: Remarkable economic growth in 2018


Qatar, which has been under a siege for one and a half years, strengthened relations with its global partners and put up an "excellent" performance, as evidenced by the remarkable economic growth this year, according to Minister of Commerce and Industry HE Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari.

"Qatar’s foreign trade has risen by 16% despite the siege," he told the recently concluded Doha Forum.

Highlighting that Qatar has accomplished a great deal during this period; he said the lessons that Qatar has acquired over the past 18 months would have taken a considerable period of time to assimilate, but numerous opportunities were created within the framework of the Qatar National Vision 2030 to accelerate the vision’s implementation.

"Qatar has opened to the world and engaged the international community, which has reacted positively, noting that globalisation and national interests should go hand-in-hand," he said, adding the world has turned into a small village where no country can thrive in isolation.

Qatar’s openness to tourists and foreign companies looking to invest in the industrial sector are an essential part of the long-term journey that Qatar is pursuing, the minister said, noting that these policies were unrelated to the blockade and adopted prior to the siege.

However, the unjust blockade has accelerated the implementation of these policies, he said, stressing that Qatar has adopted numerous measures to weather the situation, starting with raising its liquefied natural gas production capacity, the future of energy in the world.

On the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s role in enhancing the prospects of global trade and investment, al-Kuwari stressed the importance of respecting WTO rules, and establishing a binding and effective dispute resolution system or platform to quickly and effectively settle issues.

In this context, he pointed to recurring violations against Qatar after the broadcasting rights and copyrights of the beIN SPORTS group were infringed upon by a Saudi Arabian TV channel.

"A formal complaint was filed to the WTO," he said, stressing the importance of respecting the rules, regulations and agreements signed under the umbrella of the WTO.

On Qatar's preparations to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, al-Kuwari said, "In my opinion, we are past the stage of dealing with the consequences of the siege, and are now in the process of developing and planning the next phase. Qatar has proved its resilience and ability to operate under any circumstances."

Stressing that Qatar is not looking back but are seeking new opportunities, he said the 2022 FIFA World Cup is only a milestone in Qatar’s journey.

“The Qatar National Vision 2030 is key to our transition from an oil-based economy to a knowledge economy which, along with investments, represents pillars of Qatar’s strategy," he added.

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