Aside from its immense contributions in leading private sector growth in the country, Qatar Chamber has capped 2018 with three milestones that would factor in enhancing its position in the global community.
According to Qatar Chamber director general Saleh bin Hamad al-Sharqi, these achievements are the chamber’s memberships in the World ATA Carnet Council (Watac), Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR), and in the ICC CO Accreditation Chain.
As a member of the Watac, Qatar Chamber is able to implement the ATA Carnet System in Qatar, which took effect on August 1. This, al-Sharqi said, will help enhance Qatar’s reputation as a world trade centre and investment destination in the GCC region.
As the national guarantor for the application of the ATA Carnet, al-Shaqi pointed out that the system will further activate the conference and exhibition sectors and tourist activities in the state of Qatar.
Similarly, Qatar Chamber is the national guarantor for the issuance of the TIR system, in co-operation with the General Authority of Customs. The TIR is an international system of transport and customs guarantee that is globally applicable in 70 contracting countries worldwide, al-Sharqi said.
He said the ICC CO Accreditation Chain will allow private companies and Qatar Chamber members to apply for certificates of origins (COs) on its website without the need to visit the chamber’s headquarters.
“The state of Qatar’s accession to the ICC CO Accreditation Chain as the 24th member country will further promote and facilitate trade by implementing a universally-accepted certification standard for the issuance of certificates of origins in the country. This step will also stimulate trade and increase non-oil exports of the country as well as increase the private sector contribution in the GDP,” he said.
On domestic achievements, Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani said around 21,000 new companies have registered with the chamber from June 5, 2017 up to August 31 this year.
The recorded growth in the number of new companies “in that limited period confirms the attractive investment climate in Qatar, which was not affected by the unjust siege imposed on the country,” Qatar News Agency (QNA) quoted Sheikh Khalifa in an interview.
Citing a “flexible and multifaceted economic strategy” backed by the Qatar National Vision 2030, Sheikh Khalifa said Qatar witnessed significant economic development over the past years, particularly in both the hydrocarbon and non-oil sectors.
Private sector contribution to Qatar’s GDP “has increased significantly, especially with support given by the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani,” he said.
In the chamber’s latest edition of Al Moltaqa, Sheikh Khalifa lauded the speech of His Highness the Amir at the opening of the 47th ordinary session of the Advisory Council, where he stressed on the resilience of Qatar’s economy, growth in self-reliance programmes, and shielding the country from the impacts of the June 2017 economic blockade.
“In the speech, His Highness the Amir affirmed that despite the siege circumstances, Qatar has managed to develop its relations with most of the world countries, while the bonds with its allies have become stronger than before,” Sheikh Khalifa said.
He added: “His Highness stressed on the role of economic diversification in economic growth and assured the importance of reducing the dependence on oil and gas as the sole source of national income. Economic diversity mainly aims to achieve economic growth without being influenced by oil and gas price fluctuations.”
Sheikh Khalifa said the Second National Development Strategy 2018-2022, which was implemented in March, “affirms the continued development of infrastructure, promotion of economic diversification, development of the private sector, and the wise management of natural resources, while preserving and protecting the environment.”
Since the blockade, Sheikh Khalifa said Qatar witnessed a 14% growth in the number of factories in the country’s industrial sector, citing enhanced public and private sector co-operation.
“Among the industries that flourished after the siege were the 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 sectors that contribute to achieving good rates of self-sufficiency for the local market,” Sheikh Khalifa stressed.
He emphasised that the chamber will focus to organise more exhibitions to open local and international platforms that will help Qatari companies showcase their products and services.
Sheikh Khalifa said the chamber capped 2018 with the successful staging of ‘Made in Qatar’ in Oman. The exhibition, he said, “has opened new horizons for joint co-operation with Oman’s business community.”