*Qatar’s international presence plays a significant role in promoting the country as a destination for business, investment and the source of Qatari-manufactured products abroad, says QC chairman
Qatar Chamber hosted some 100 foreign business delegations in 2018 and explored with them ways to co-operate and promote the country as a destination for business and investment, according to its chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani.
Qatar’s international presence plays a significant role in promoting the country as a destination for business, investment and the source of Qatari-manufactured products abroad, he told the Oxford Business Group (OBG).
Visibility has been strengthened through trade missions, participation in trade exhibitions and cementing co-operation with other countries. Co-operation is facilitated by receiving visiting trade delegations that explore the market and establish local economic ties.
Qatari businessmen, he said, also arrange tours to review methods that expand trade co-operation and create partnerships with business sectors in other countries.
Qatar also participates in exhibitions and trade fairs that “showcase Qatari manufacturers and identify new global opportunities.” Sheikh Khalifa noted.
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.
Qatar’s outward foreign direct investment plays a major role in economic development and diversification through significant investments abroad, Sheikh Khalifa said in the 'The Report: Qatar 2019' published by OBG.
For example, the Qatar Investment Authority has made international investments in real and financial assets including stocks, bonds and real estate, as well as alternative investments in private equity. Inward and outward investments allow Qatar to both reduce its dependence on oil and gas and support the economy’s standing internationally.
Asked what changes are expected to optimise Qatar’s regulatory environment as the economic contribution of the private sector grows, Sheikh Khalifa said, “The government has implemented a number of legislative reforms and measures 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.”
The Qatar Chamber chairman said improvements to registration and documentation to streamline import and export processes 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,” Sheikh Khalifa said.
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