* Private sector to play bigger role in economic development: QC chief
The private sector is expected to play a bigger role in building the state’s economy by partnering with the public sector to realise the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030, Qatar Chamber (QC) chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani has said.
In an interview with The Oil and Gas Year (TOGY) magazine, Sheikh Khalifa noted that the completion rate of projects in Qatar “will continue at the same pace even after 2022.”
He said there are more than 150 major projects that will be delivered after 2022, including projects in the infrastructure, roads, construction, healthcare, and education sectors.
Sheikh Khalifa said Qatar has paved the way for the private sector to play a key role in the economy and participate in mega projects implemented in the country.
These include policies such as the reduction of rents by 50% for all investors in logistics areas of the Economic Zones Corporation in the south of Qatar for 2018 and 2019, as well as increasing the purchasing percentage for local products from 30% to 100% if the local product meets Qatari specifications and standards and the financial facilitation provided by Qatar Development Bank (QDB).
Sheikh Khalifa also noted that the government's support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will help transform Qatar from an oil-based economy to knowledge-based. He noted that SMEs represent the backbone of any economy worldwide.
He said Qatar explored and successfully found alternative sources of goods, which were previously being imported from the siege countries. The country also launched direct shipping routes from the Hamad Port to ports in China, Oman, Kuwait, and other friendly countries.
Sheikh Khalifa said the past few years saw the Qatari government provide many attractive incentives for national and foreign investors. These incentives included facilities in ownership and exemption from customs duties on imports of machinery, equipment, and spare parts. They also include exemption from export duties or taxes on corporate profits for predetermined periods.
“Qatar achieved during the past year most of its diversification and development plans. It has managed to build a strong and resilient economy, becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. It also paved the way for the private sector to play a key role in the economy and participate in the mega-projects implemented in the country.
“All economic plans are on track and all infrastructure works and projects related to the World Cup 2022 are ongoing and were not affected by the blockade. Qatar was not affected by the blockade because of its huge resources, ambitious economic strategies, and positive relations across the globe,” Sheikh Khalifa said.
“During this period, new military, security, economic, commercial, and other agreements have been signed with the world’s top countries. Also, non-hydrocarbon sectors like construction and manufacturing will not see any disruptions thanks to the alternative supply chains established since the crisis,” he added.
According to Sheikh Khalifa, Qatar is considered as one of the leading countries in outward investments, with overseas investments spread across 80 countries.
“Qatar’s outward foreign direct investment significantly supports the country’s economic diversification strategies and provides financial revenues for future generations. This investment policy relies on adopting investment opportunities with minimal risk and maximum return,” he said.