H.E. Chairman of Qatar Chamber (QC) Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani has said that the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar three years ago did not manage to slow down the rapid growth of the Qatari economy, noting that Qatar has managed to transfer its negative impacts into benefits.
In a statement on the third anniversary of the blockade, Sheikh Khalifa revealed that about 47,000 new companies have been established in Qatar during the years of blockade, assuring that the blockade period witnessed establishing more foreign investments, especially in the light of legislations and incentives offered by the state.
H.E. Chairman of Qatar Chamber said that the blockade has helped in accelerating the state's approach toward encouraging local industry and facilitating procedures for new industries, as some 293 new factories were established during the years of the blockade.
About 1464 industrial establishments operating and licensed were registered by the end of 2019 in all industrial sectors, compared to 1171 by the end of 2016, he explained.
Underlying the role of the Qatari private sector, he pointed out that it has defeated the blockade since its onset and managed to prove itself as a real partner to the public sector in the march of economic development. Sheikh Khalifa also noted that the blockade period saw a surge in exports of the private sector and the reach of local products to many foreign markets.
Sheikh Khalifa also noted that the Qatari economy has proved that it is a robust and resilient economy against crises, affirming that it continued to maintain an accelerated pace of growth, according to the estimates of the World Bank Fund.
QC Chairman said several factors helped the country defeat the blockade and transform it into economic benefits, including the economic and legislative environment, sound strategic plans as well as co-operation among all bodies, and trade relations with friendly countries.
He stressed that the blockade provided Qatari businessmen a strong impetus to expand their commercial activities, invest in new industries. "Blockade urged concerned bodies to accelerate the country's economic strategies, expand agricultural and industrial projects, increase outward investments, promote local investment and attract more foreign investments to the local market. It also included providing more incentives to the private sector for promoting local industries, increasing production, enhancing relations with friendly countries, and activating trade with countries around the world," he added.
Highlighting the Chambers role during the blockade, he said it had sought since the beginning of the blockade to remove all obstacles faced by the private sector. Sheikh Khalifa said QC urged merchants and businessmen, from the first day of the blockade, to urgently find alternative means to import goods. The chamber also coordinated with various government agencies concerned to form specialized committees with concerned governmental bodies to streamline procedures for the private sector in importing goods, as well as provide support for the national productions.
During the blockade, QC has hosted more than 250 foreign trade delegations with Qatari businessmen to discuss mutual investment opportunities and the possibility of establishing commercial partnerships and alliances in light of the incentives, facilities and benefits for investment proposed by Qatar and the governments of those countries.
According to the role of QC's sectorial committees, he said they played a key role during the siege through holding seminars with businessmen to learn about obstacles facing them and ways of finding appropriate solutions, as well as conducting questionnaires that determine damages incurred by some companies.
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