Despite the ongoing economic blockade imposed since June 2017, Qatar has achieved a series of accomplishments, including the development and growth of the country’s non-hydrocarbon sector, a top Qatar Chamber official has said.
These achievements, such as robust non-oil exports and the record spike in the number of companies established since the blockade, run congruent with the chamber’s thrust to open more private sector participation in economic development, as well as efforts towards self-reliance, according to Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani.
Earlier, Sheikh Khalifa said the blockade helped stimulate the establishment of new projects “in all sectors” and “reinforced the national production” leading to less reliance on imports.
“Qatar Chamber has been committed to representing and protecting interests of the private sector locally and globally. It exerted all possible efforts to eradicate all obstacles that may hinder the private sector to play its expected role in the economic process,” he said.
In a recent interview with Qatar News Agency, Sheikh Khalifa reported that 32,000 new companies have been established in the country since the blockade took effect two years ago. This shows a 34% growth compared to the 13,000 companies formed in 2016 and 11,000 firms established in 2015, he said.
In 2017, Sheikh Khalifa said 15,000 new companies opened in Qatar with 17,000 more established in the following year. These firms belong to the agriculture, transport, and manufacturing sectors, he continued.
The latest tally in certificates of origin issued by the chamber revealed that non-oil exports in 2018 totalled QR24.4bn, a 35.1% growth compared to the QR18.05bn recorded in 2017, Sheikh Khalifa also reported.
Another significant role in economic development, according to Sheikh Khalifa, is the chamber’s inputs on legislation and laws relating to the private sector. He stressed that Qatar Chamber also strengthened co-operation relations with all governmental entities and bodies, and attained an active presence in many regional and international forums and events.
Similarly, Qatar Chamber director general Saleh bin Hamad al-Sharqi earlier said the chamber reached several milestones in 2018 that contributed to private sector and economic growth: the chamber’s memberships in the World ATA Carnet Council (Watac), Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR), and in the ICC CO Accreditation Chain.
These achievements, al-Sharqi added, will help enhance Qatar’s reputation as a world trade centre and investment destination in the GCC region, and will also stimulate trade and increase non-oil exports of the country as well as increase the private sector
contribution in the GDP.
Also, Sheikh Khalifa previously stressed that Qatar Chamber will work to organise more exhibitions that would help Qatari companies showcase their products and services in local and international platforms.
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