State Initiatives To Attract Foreign Investment .. H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassem Al Thani : Qatar Laws Attract Foreign Investments
H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassem Bin Mohammed Al Thani Chairman of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, affirmed that the legislation and laws in Qatar contributed to facilitating the business environment, and helps in attracting foreign investments, as he pointed out that the Qatari market hosts international companies as well as foreign investors who are opening branches of their own franchises in the State of Qatar. In a comprehensive interview with the Business Bridge Magazine, his Excellency said that the State of Qatar is making tangible efforts by preparing and issuing a set of laws that would provide a suitable legislative environment for economic developments, accompanied by further liberalization and integration into the global market. The Chairman of the Chamber explained that meetings held between Qatari and Turkish businessmen, contributed to the establishment of many deals and partnerships, as he pointed out that the visit of the Chamber’s delegation to the cities of Izmir and Istanbul last August for example, resulted in signing 15 cooperation agreements between Qatari and Turkish companies.
Here below is details of the interview:
Qatar Chamber has made a great effort through its contribution and vision to develop legislations and investment laws. Does your Excellency believe that these laws in Qatar are encouraging and attracting investors to the country?
Certainly, there are many decrees and regulations that help facilitate the business environment and help attract foreign investment. Here I would like to praise the distinguished role of our Government, which works to implement the directives of the wise leadership, by creating a more competitive and attractive investment environment, with an important role for the private sector. Indeed, the effectiveness of this legislation has proved to attract investors despite the siege imposed on Qatar.
We see many international companies and investors have implemented partnerships with Qatari companies or opened their branches in the country. It should be noted that Qatar Chamber has made significant contributions to the laws related to the economic affairs. The Chamber has also submitted a draft law on partnership between the public and private sectors, where the chamber also contributes to expressing its opinion on various economic and investment laws before enacting it.
How compatible are the existing legislations to achieve further trade liberalization and integration into the global market?
In fact, the Government is making vigorous efforts through the preparation and issuing of a set of laws that provide and enable legislative environment for economic developments, which is in line with further trade liberalization and integration into the global market as well as the modernization of domestic trade systems and policies aimed at ensuring fair competition and preventing monopoly via Economic reform processes, where Qatar is committed to the rules of a free market economy.
Qatar is ahead with several development projects in accordance with its National Vision 2030. How strong is the Qatari private sector to cope with the challenges of the economic development projects?
The Qatari private sector has proved to be worthy support by our wise leadership and government, and the sector is able to take on the responsibility at hand, where the private sector has been strongly involved in many major projects in the country and has gained considerable experience through contact with international companies, and benefited from the atmosphere provided by the government and laws that support its role in the overall development. We have noticed a great interest by all parties to support the national product, which contributed to the development and prominence in the domestic market, which began to take steps towards globalization. I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to the leadership’s keenness to support participation of the private sector in the projects put forward by the State of Qatar, which allows Qatari companies to be an important role player in these projects, especially as the country is witnessing the establishment of large mega projects in the coming years, as preparations are underway to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, in addition to projects included in Qatar’s development strategy and National Vision 2030.
What are the results achieved by the private sector to reach selfsufficiency in Qatar’s policy?
The private sector has always sought to make a real contribution to the country’s GDP, and as of late the conditions have come to speed up the pace of action towards achieving this, as there is no doubt that the private sector has played its role perfectly.
The private sector is exerting no efforts provide a sufficient contribution to achieve self-sufficiency, in-order to
double the number of national factories and their production plans amidst a record rise in the demand for national
products by citizens and residents, by establishing a number of new factories and companies, as well as increased
investments in the agricultural sector. We have noticed how the past few months have accelerated the pace of
food security, and access to high levels of self-sufficiency.
We cannot lose sight of how recent decisions and actions have contributed to the increase and visibility of the
national products and in playing a key role in bridging the gap in pursuit of selfsufficiency.
What are the most important achievements of Qatar Chamber during 2017? And What are your plans for the current year 2018?
During the past year, Qatar Chamber has witnessed a large number of activities, services and programs aimed
at achieving a great presence and also took an active role participation in many events and conferences held in the
country and overseas. During the year 2017, the Chamber organized some 200 different events, and received about
52 international trade delegations, organized 14 overseas visits to Qatari business owners to a number of countries,
while organized and participated in 14 trade shows.
As for the 2018 plans, we seek to strengthen the role of the private sector in the national economy, and continue to work on improving the business environment and developing electronic services for the Chamber’s members, in addition to the establishment of a series of economic initiatives, specialized exhibitions and commercial events, which will be implemented during the current year, and contribute to the revitalization of the trade movement, seeking to attract trade delegations and promote investment opportunities available in Qatar in all areas, in addition to extending bridges of cooperation with
similar institutions in sisterly and friendly countries and concerned authorities in the government.
What is your Excellency’s assessment of the chamber’s role in diversifying the productive base of Qatar?
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has made many achievements during its career, and was able to be the best representative, protector and advocate of the interests of the Qatari private sector. As for its role in diversifying the production base, the Chamber contributes positively to supporting the national product at all levels, especially through the organization of the Made in Qatar Exhibition, which is supported and sponsored by H.H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, as the national product highlights its quality and competitiveness.
How do you see the economic relations between Qatar and Turkey?
At the beginning, we say that the bilateral relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Turkey are
growing day by day, especially as the two countries have a common vision on all issues in the region, which those
relations in turn were reflected on the economic side. The volume of trade exchange between Qatar and Turkey
increased to 35 times more during the past two decades, as we do not overlook the desire of the two sides to deepen
bilateral long-term trade relations, and not just importing and exporting, where among these evidences, we can say that relations in the coming years will be more prosperous and developed than before, and to the benefit of the economies of both countries.
Do you have certain perceptions or studies to build up strong partnerships between Qatari and Turkish companies?
Turkey is considered a promising destination for the Qatari investor, as there are already existing Qatari investments in Turkey, especially in the agricultural, tourism, real estate, banking and others sectors. The Chamber supports establishment of partnerships and trade with investment alliances between the two countries through organizing meetings and visits with the Turkish side to discuss and circulate fields where the two sides can invest in, as we can say that in the upcoming period, we look forward to long-term Qatari, Turkish partnerships, especially as the investment climate in both countries helps to do so.
Several meetings were held between the Qatari and Turkish businessmen and investors. How were the results of those meetings and their importance?
Meetings with the Turkish side during the last period were very positive, though both held in Qatar and Turkey. The meetings were characterized by a heavy presence of businessmen, reflecting the common interest in strengthening economic cooperation between the private sector in both countries, as for example, more than100 Qatari businessmen visited Turkish cities last year, as the Turkish-Qatari Forum which was held in Doha last January, attracted more than 150 Turkish companies. We believe that the importance of these meetings lies in the fact that it prepares Qatari and Turkish businessmen to discuss the establishment of deals and partnership contracts.
How many Turkish companies operate in Qatar? Is there a common goal between the two sides to increase the number of these companies?
According to our Commercial Registration data in Qatar Chamber, there are 205 Turkish companies operating in the Qatari market, of which 186 are joint companies that Qatar’s equity capital is contributing together with its Turkish counterpart, and about 19 companies are fully owned and funded by the Turkish equity capital, and of course, there is a mutual desire to increase and multiply these figures. Turkey is considered as a strong tourist destination, and distinctive in the real estate, energy, telecommunications, tourism and food, sectors that attract Qatari capital.
What economic or investment activities do you seek to attract from Turkey through Turkish investors or businessmen?
Most aspects of the interchange between the two countries are concentrated in the non-oil sectors, especially in
agriculture, food production, industry, infrastructure, services, furniture, etc. However, as I said, we hope that the
aspects of partnership between the two countries will cover all sectors.
(Made in Qatar) has achieved many results; do you intend to hold a special edition of the exhibition in Turkey?
There are a number of sisterly and friendly countries in which to choose in between as an external destination
for the exhibition for the current year. Turkey is certainly one of those countries, but the matter is still under