PBFD lauds Qatar’s stance for private businesses; seeks strategised post-Covid-19 approach
June 06 2020 09:24 PM
Participants of the webinar hosted recently by the Pakistan Business Forum Doha
Participants of the webinar hosted recently by the Pakistan Business Forum Doha

Private sector companies in Qatar would have to adopt and adjust operational changes in their respective businesses, including market developments, behaviours, and selling methods in a post Covid-19 scenario, the Pakistan Business Forum Doha (PBFD) discussed in a Webinar meeting held recently.

PBFD president Said Gul said Covid-19 will bring structural changes in the business philosophy of most of the companies, as well as changes in work practices. The concept of online purchases would get boost, especially for consumer items, which would bring down substantial overheads of the company.

“Only those companies that are competitive and offer quality products and services would survive,” Gul said.

According to Ahmad Hussain, a more realistic and practical approach towards business models are required to be adopted with special focus on creating smart business environment, and that business owners and investors would have to largely reduce expenses.

He said it is “high time” to focus on IT, pharmaceutical, and packaging businesses, adding that tourism-related and restaurant businesses “have suffered a lot.” Hussain stressed that Pakistani exporters “shall take full advantage” of Qatar government’s announcement of customs duty exemptions on food and medical products for a period of six months and enhance exports.

Mohamed Idrees Anwar lauded the QR75bn package of the government for the private sector, which is “a decent move in present testing times.” Various sectors, including small industries are battling for survival due to restrictions of Covid-19, he said.

“This incentive package, including deferment of commercial rents, implementation of National Guarantee Programme for workers salary, exemption of electricity and water charges for manufacturing companies, among others, would definitely give short-term relief to the companies that are facing the Covid-19 onslaught,” he said.

Riyaz Ahmad Bakali said small and medium businesses “are the backbone of the domestic economy,” and that the stimulus package comprising economic incentives, coupled with other benefits, as well as the support extended by the government “will be of great help” to overcome the impact of the coronavirus.

Bakali also lauded Qatar’s initiative to deploy medical scientists to develop vaccination for Covid-19, adding that he wishes that Qatar “would be amongst the pioneer counties to succeed.”

Mohamed Khan and Rashid Butt both agreed that the “gradual and organised” return of business activities at the Industrial Area was a “pressing necessity” being the hub for economic activities where most of the services that guarantee the continuity of businesses are concentrated.

Israr Malazai, an owner of different businesses, added that despite various challenges faced by the private sector, every effort is being made to assist the government to control and contain the outbreak of Covid-19 “to maximum extent” and almost all the private sector employers “are religiously complying” with rules and regulations announced by authorities concerned.

“We all are ensuring that every staff and worker must follow and adhere to the rules and guidelines to ensure that the disease does not spread any further,” he said.

Pakistani businessman and PBFD member Pervez Iqbal said, “Though this pandemic is a curse for everyone right from the governments and businesses, as well as individuals, Pakistani businessmen should consider it as a blessing in disguise if they avail the opportunities of exports from Pakistan.”

“The private sector is currently suffering due to the consequences of Covid-19, such as continued payment of the salaries of workers and employees without making any profits. Perhaps more challenges are in the offing for businesses in the next few months,” he said.

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