Procedures to streamline import and export processes in Qatar, such as the ATA Carnet system are significant contributions to the country’s thrust to become an investment destination, according to Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani.
Sheikh Khalifa made the statement in the ‘The Report: Qatar 2019’, published by Oxford Business Group (OBG). In the report, Sheikh Khalifa spoke on Qatar Chamber initiatives, and public and private sector contribution to economic development.
Asked about efforts that would streamline import and export processes, Sheikh Khalifa told OBG, “Improvements to import-export procedures include upgrading the Qatar Chamber website to act as a platform to interact with local businessmen, improving communication and feedback on challenges they face.
“We also developed our services – particularly those available online – to allow some private companies to digitally attest certain documents, including the certificate of origin.”
He added: “The international Customs and temporary export-import document system allows the import of goods for up to one year without the obligation to take any fees, taxes or Customs procedures. The system covers all goods, provided that they are re-exported and imported during the period approved by the Customs authorities.
“The implementation of this system in co-operation with the General Authority of Customs and the International Chamber of Commerce in Qatar is an important step that will enhance Qatar’s status as an attractive investment destination and a global centre for trade and business.”
On promoting the ‘Made in Qatar’ brand abroad, Sheikh Khalifa underscored Qatar’s international presence, saying this plays a significant role in promoting the country as a business and investment destination, as well as a source of Qatari-manufactured products abroad.
He said the chamber actively participated in trade missions and exhibitions, as well as in receiving foreign delegations wanting to explore investment opportunities in the local market.
Asked how international investment could help promote growth in capital-intensive sectors, Sheikh Khalifa told OBG that international investments in any country can improve capital-intensive sectors and boost the economy.
“Sectors that require large amounts of capital to start and operate, such as construction and real estate development, are then able to access a global network of investors to enhance their financial standing and long-term sustainability. Inward investments help foreign capital inflow and push broader economic development,” he said, adding that Qatar’s outward foreign direct investment plays a major role in economic development and diversification through significant investments abroad.
Sheikh Khalifa also spoke on the expected changes to optimise Qatar’s regulatory environment, citing a number of legislative reforms implemented by the government to simplify the business environment, attract further investment, and provide incentives to increase private sector production.
“This includes Law No 1 of 2019 that allows foreign investors to own 100% of shares in a Qatari business across most economic sectors, and up to 49% in Qatari companies listed on the Qatar Exchange.
“Qatar has also implemented a law that allows visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, as well as amendments to the labour and residency law and the draft of the public-private partnership law. These reforms provide incentives that benefit the private sector and small and medium-sized enterprises in particular,” Sheikh Khalifa said.