The new law on strategic storage of food and consumption goods would play a significant role in strengthening the country’s public-private partnership (PPP) strategy, according to Qatar Chamber board member Mohamed bin Ahmed al-Obaidli.
Al-Obaidli made the statement during a seminar hosted by Qatar Chamber Tuesday, which aims to discuss the role of the private sector in the strategic storage of foodstuffs and commodities.
“The private sector would play an important role in the strategic storage sector; Law No 24 of 2019 concerning organising and control of strategic storage of food and consumption goods would enhance public-private partnerships,” al-Obaidli stressed.
The seminar, which was led by al-Obaidli, was held in the presence of Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani, first vice chairman Mohamed bin Towar al-Kuwari, board member Abdulrahman al-Ansari,
Assistant undersecretary for Consumer Affairs - head of the Strategic Storage Team Sheikh Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani, and the director of the Food Security Department at the Ministry of Municipal and Environment and Secretary of the National Committee for Food Security Masoud Jarallah al-Marri.
Sheikh Khalifa said it is important to announce in advance the success of PPP projects in the strategic storage sector and any new project to give the private sector enough time to study the project and communicate with international companies to cooperate in the implementation process.
He also said strategic storage projects, such as the food security storage facility at Hamad Port has promoted the country’s status as an important hub for strategic storage and a model for achieving food security strategy.
Al-Obaidli, who is also chairman of Qatar Chamber’s Food Security and Environment Committee, said the storage sector has played a key role in achieving social, economic, and political objectives, and securing the strategic commodities and consumption goods during unexpected fluctuations, such as the sudden drop in domestic production or natural and commercial market fluctuations.
He said the significant expansion that Qatar is witnessing in all economic sectors requires increasing the storage capacities of strategic commodities, whether short term or long term items to secure its uninterrupted availability in the market.
Stressing the role of the private sector, al-Obaidli noted that it effectively contributed to meeting the requirements of the local market and increased the local production through manufacturing and agricultural production.
Al-Marri said strategic storage would help the country face two challenges: short-term stocks of perishable goods and the long-term stock of non-perishable goods. He said that the national strategy for food security is based on four pillars: boosting local production, strategic storage, international trade, and the local market.
Sheikh Jassim said the state has laid an integrated food security system based on diversifying sources of import, establishing a strategic storage of food and strategic commodities, achieving local self-sufficiency, enhancing productive capacities, and developing infrastructure and legislation.
He stressed that these steps are adopted to meet the challenges related to global markets, climate changes, monopolistic policies, or changes at the local and regional level.
He said the issuance of the Law No 24 of 2019 aims to create a legal framework for the establishment and management of strategic storage and facing all fluctuations, as well as organising procedures applied in emergency cases.
Sheikh Jassim said there is coordination between the authorities and the private sector, whether suppliers, wholesalers or outlets to secure the necessary goods and commodities. He noted that an electronic system has been launched to manage strategic storage and to identify the amount of goods in the private sector.
Al-Kuwari said food security is one Qatar’s most important project, and stressed that “the private sector is willing to see more facilitations in terms of financing and procedures.”