‘Qatar 2022 shows mega-events can transform countries’
June 10 2019 09:49 PM
Hassan al-Thawadi and Fahad bin Mohamed al-Attiyah held a number of bilateral meetings on the sideli
Hassan al-Thawadi and Fahad bin Mohamed al-Attiyah held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the forum.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is helping transform the region and accelerate Qatar National Vision 2030, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) secretary-general Hassan al-Thawadi has stressed.
He made the observation while speaking at the three-day St Petersburg International Economic Forum, where he participated in two panel sessions and spoke alongside political, business and sporting leaders from across the world, according to a press statement issued by the SC. 
During the first panel, titled ‘Big Football in the Cityscapes’, al-Thawadi and his fellow panelists discussed how cities and countries could benefit from hosting mega-events.
During the panel, al-Thawadi emphasised the need for innovative legacy planning to ensure that tournaments leave an impact on a country long after they have finished. 

Hassan al-Thawadi speaking at the first panel session

“Qatar has always understood the potential impact of the World Cup and how it can accelerate our national vision and transform our country for future generations,” he said. “From Day 1, we set about ensuring that the tournament leaves behind not just world-class sporting infrastructure, but that it has a positive social and human impact on those in Qatar and across the region in the build-up to, during and long after the tournament has finished. 
"The World Cup is already helping Qatar develop new industries, attract new talent and investment into the country, and accelerate legislative change in critical areas, such as labour reform. It’s also helping promote football and a healthier lifestyle in Qatar. We’re still three years away from kick-off but are already seeing the positive impact the tournament is having on the country’s development.”
Al-Thawadi also praised Russia’s hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and noted how much Qatar had learned from their operations. 
The SC secretary-general was joined on the panel by Pavel Kolobkov, Russia’s Minister of Sport; Igor Levitin, aide to the president of Russia; Alexander Dyukov, president of the Russian Football Union; Alexander Beglov, Acting Governor of St Petersburg; Anton Alikhanov, Governor of Kaliningrad; Martin Kallen, UEFA Events CEO; and international footballing legends Christian Karambeu and Sol Campbell.
The panel was moderated by FIFA Council member Alexey Sorokin.
The second panel al-Thawadi participated in was titled ‘Business in National Development Projects: Ways to Succeed’, and transmitted live on the Russia 24 news channel. 
Panelists discussed the importance of public-private partnerships for large-scale infrastructure projects and examined the model of national vision strategies.
Here, al-Thawadi explained Qatar National Vision 2030, saying it had succeeded in driving and diversifying the country’s economy, and was using the FIFA World Cup to further accelerate its mission. 
“Qatar’s astute financial planning and diversification away from a wholly hydrocarbon-based economy into new industries, such as Islamic finance, medicine, education and sport, has helped the country’s economy thrive over the last two decades to become one of the region’s strongest,” said al-Thawadi.
“The hosting of the World Cup is just one vehicle we are using to drive public-private partnerships, diversify the economy and encourage international investors and companies into the country.”
Al-Thawadi said Qatar and Russia share similar national visions and went on to discuss how both countries face similar challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing global environment. 
He was joined on the panel by Andrey Kostin, president and chairman of VTB Bank; Maxim Akimov, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia; Maxim Oreshkin, Russia’s Minister of Economic Development; Chen Fenjian, chairman of China Railway Construction Corporation Limited; Li Yong, director-general, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation; Sergey Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow; and Rustam Minnikhanov, President of Tatarstan.
Al-Thawadi and Fahad bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, Qatar's Ambassador to Russia, went on to hold a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the forum with leading political and business leaders, as well as experts in the fields of tourism, sport and technology.
Al-Thawadi and the SC delegation also attended the Qatar-Russia gala dinner hosted by the Qatari embassy.

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