The Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) and the Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for joint co-operation in a ceremony held on Sunday at the Business Innovation Park building in Ras Bu Fontas Free Zones.

The MoU, which was signed by QBA chairman Sheikh Faisal bin Qasim al-Thani and HE the Minister of State and QFZA chairman Ahmad bin Mohamed al-Sayed, is also geared to benefit from the services provided by the two economic institutions to the local and external investors to enhance investments and support the economic development of the country.

Both officials signed the MoU in the presence of QBA first deputy chairman Hussain Alfardan and QBA board members Sheikh Hamad bin Faisal al-Thani, Sherida al-Kaabi, and Saud al-Mana.

QBA members in attendance include Nasser el-Haider, Khalid al-Mannai, Salah al-Jaidah, Nabil Abu Issa, Ashraf Abu Issa, Maqbool Khalfan, Mohamed al-Rabban, Mohamed Althaf, Ihsan al-Khyami, and Mohamed al-Nemla.

Similarly, Sheikh Khalid bin Nawaf bin Nasser al-Thani attended the ceremony, along with Abdulsalam Abu Issa and Haider Mashhady, as well as QBA deputy GM Sarah Abdallah.

Lim Meng Hui, QFZ CEO; Abdullah bin Hamad al-Misnad, QFZ deputy CEO; and members of the QFZ executive management also attended the signing ceremony.

The MoU calls for strategic relations between the two parties to attract investors to Qatar, support economic diversification, and sharing of information as well as co-operation in joint activities to encourage foreign investment.

The areas of co-operation include the participation and inclusion of both parties in the visits of international delegations to the country to promote Qatar, as well as both parties.

The MoU signing ceremony was also followed by a tour of Ras Bu Fontas to introduce the existing infrastructure and the services it provides to investors.

Sheikh Faisal said, “Since its inception, the QBA has been seeking to strengthen its partnership with the public sector to serve the national economy by supporting the State in its efforts to diversify sources of income and achieve sustainable, comprehensive development by 2030, and attracting foreign investment and advanced technology, localising highly-competitive industries and benefiting from the privileges provided by the government as the investment climate is very appropriate and great opportunities are available to turn the country into a real workshop.”

Through this visit, QBA also aims at get acquainted with QFZA and Ras Bu Fontas Free Zone and the services provided to facilitate the work of the Qatari private sector in attracting global investors and benefiting from the investment opportunities presented by the free zones in various sectors. Also, both parties discussed the ways of joint co-operation in the areas of attracting foreign investment and supporting the private sector.

Al-Sayed said, “We are pleased to take this positive step and participate with the Qatari Businessmen Association as two Qatari institutions concerned with contributing to the development of the Qatari economy.

“This joint co-operation is a strong example of the importance of local partnerships in contribution to the advancement of the national economy, especially as the Qatari private sector plays an important role in this, as it is an essential part of Qatar National Vision 2030 represented in the pillar of economic development that calls for achieving economic diversification. Also, growth in the non-oil sectors, in addition to transforming Qatar's economy into a knowledge-based economy.”

He added, “The Free Zones Authority provides a comprehensive and integrated platform that the Qatari private sector can take advantage of by working with international companies based in the free zones, and expanding its business and partnerships with these companies to enter new markets regionally and globally.”

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ceremony, Sheikh Faisal expressed confidence in the rapid economic growth experienced by Qatar amid an economic blockade imposed on the country in June 2017. He stressed that the challenges brought by the blockade only helped Qatar expedite important legal and economic reforms that helped further the growth of the country's economy.

Similarly, al-Sayed told the media that many international companies are looking to pour investments into the country, particularly in the free zones.

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