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Posted On: 8 July 2020 11:29 am

Qatar Chamber holds 'Developing Partnership between Public and Private Sectors' conference

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Qatar Chamber organized the 'Developing Partnership between Public and Private Sectors' conference on Tuesday via video conferencing.

Under the patronage of H.E. Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari and H.E. Qatar Chamber (QC) Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani, the conference convened with the participation of about 15 speakers from prestigious local and international organizations.

It aimed to raise awareness among the business sector on Law No 12 of 2020 regulating the partnership between the public and private sectors.

Addressing the opening session, H.E. Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari said that the issuance a law regulating partnership between public and private sectors at this time constitutes a crucial step in providing the appropriate legislative framework for regulating the private sector's contribution to the implementation of major development projects.

H.E. the minister said that the conference is being held under exceptional circumstances due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected all world economy's components and productive sectors, noting that the economic consequences of this pandemic have constituted a strong motive for many countries to take precautionary measures to curb the current crisis and protect the private sector.

H.E. Al Kuwari pointed out that thanks to the wisdom of the wise Leadership, the country has established an integrated strategy based on the concerted efforts of all government agencies to provide a comprehensive package of support for Qatari companies and allocate QR 75 billion as financial and economic incentives for the private sector, including SMEs.

"The stimulus package contributed to mitigating burdens on SMEs and encouraging them to proceed in a way that supports the national economy to continue the march of prosperity toward the implementation of Qatar National Vision 2030," he added.

H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry assured that Qatar has adopted the partnership experience for several years, especially in implementing logistics, food security, health, and education projects.

Underlining the importance of the PPP law, H.E. the minister said that it boosts the complementary relationship between the governmental and private sectors, adding that it provides a regulatory framework for the contractual relationship forms between both parties.

H.E. Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari explained that the partnership projects contribute to raising the efficiency and sustainability of government infrastructure and services, rationalizing public budget expenditures, achieving optimal investment of resources, and enhancing the competitiveness of Qatar's private sector companies, as well as enabling government agencies to adopt a new vision for managing national projects, meeting economic and social development requirements, and attracting local and foreign investments.

H.E. the Minister stressed that his patronage for the conference reflects his trust in the private sector and its role as a real partnership in the state's economic development.

He hoped the conference would help in discussing ways to prepare national companies to take advantage of partnership opportunities, highlight the advantages of the new law and strengthen communication between concerned people from the government and private sectors to establish integrated mechanisms for implementing innovative national projects that meet the needs of citizens and residents and allow for a bright future for the coming generations.

H.E. QC Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani said that the issuance of PPP law represented a confirmation from the wise Leadership and esteemed government on the leading role of the private sector in the states sustainable development.

Stressing the role of the new law, H.E. QC Chairman noted that it constituted a strong push for the private sector to implement its role as a genuine partner to the public sector in the development march.

H.E. QC Chairman pointed out that the chamber played a key role in highlighting the idea of issuing a law regulating the PPP, pointing out that it held a conference on this issue in 2009, which recommended the need for legislation governing partnership between the two sectors. He added that QC also contributed to laying the basic foundations for the PPP draft law in cooperation with the concerned authorities.

Speaking at the opening session, H.E. Qatar Chamber Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Thani pointed out that the recent years witnessed the launch of several government projects in partnership between the public and private sectors, adding that with the issuance of PPP law, the opportunity will be created to launch more joint projects in various economic sectors.

His Excellency affirmed that partnerships projects contribute to enhancing economic development and attracting more investment, especially that the private sector has become able to play a greater role in economic development, which is one of the key pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030.

QC Chairman said that the challenges facing the private sector are still great, expecting that the issuance of the law would have a significant impact on activating the private sector and accelerating the initiation and implementation of projects.

He pointed out that convening the conference was an opportunity to discuss the fields and challenges that will result from this law, as well as exploring the views of the private sector in organizing this partnership and raising the private sector's awareness of the law and its applications, hoping that the conference will achieve its desired goals in seeing more public-private partnership projects.

H.E. President of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) Dr. Eng. Saad bin Ahmad Al Mohannadi said that the authority has prepared a list of projects in which the private sector can participate within the requirements of the PPP law, noting that these projects include construction and infrastructure projects, after studying its feasibility in coordination with the relevant authorities.

Al Mohannadi also noted that Ashghal has started to tender for some projects, especially in construction projects and sewage treatment, pointing out that other projects are under study and will be introduced after completing feasibility studies.

"Ashghal is part of the implementation of the partnership between the two sectors in line with Qatar National Vision 2030," he said.

He said that the PPP law enhances the private sector's role and contribution in the mega projects and benefits both sectors.

CEO of Qatar Financial Center (QFC) Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida said that the conference aims to bring together institutions of both sectors under one umbrella to examine opportunities and exchange experience, noting that partnership between both sectors is essential for supporting the march of the State's economic development, especially under the current circumstances of coronavirus pandemic.

During his speech at the opening session of the conference, Al Jaida pointed out that the whole world is going through difficult circumstances due to the Coronavirus pandemic, pointing to responses from different countries to alleviate the repercussions of this pandemic, on top of these responses were the quick proactive measures taken by the State of Qatar to protect society from the Coronavirus along with providing support to the business sectors.

"According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, Qatar is expected to be the only country in the region to achieve 5% of GDP growth and 2.4% growth in the consumer index during 2021," he added.

QC Director-General Saleh bin Hamad Al Sharqi said that the Chamber is keen on holding the conference to raise awareness among business sectors on Law No 12 of 2020 regulating the partnership between public and private sectors.

In press statements, Al Sharqi also said that the conference has addressed many important issues related to the means and fields of developing public-private partnerships in a way that supports the national economy and the desired development in accordance with Qatar National Vision 2030.

He praised the large participation of the conference from speakers and attendees, noting that the conference's sessions reviewed the opportunities and challenges of PPP law, and highlighted many international experiences and research studies on the partnership and expectation of the private sector as well.

For its part, the Ministry of Justice stressed the importance of the partnership between the public and private sectors and noted the complementary role of the various government and private agencies involved in the partnership that embodies the serious government will towards developing sustainable development programs, by setting the legal framework to support the private sector and activating its role in the growth of the national economy and achieving Qatar's vision National 2030.

In a working paper presented by the Ministry in the Developing Partnership between Public and Private Sectors Conference, Director of the Real Estate Brokerage Department at the Ministry of Justice Khaled Hassan Al Mahashadi said that the Ministry of Justice was keen to create an integrated legal system that provides the legislative framework to enhance the growth of the national economy, promote the attractiveness of the investment climate in the country, prepare for building promising investment partnerships between the public and private sectors, and attract capital and major companies to turn Qatar into a commercial, investment and industrial center in the region.

In view of its association with the private sector across the real estate sector which is one of the important pillars of the national economy, and its indirect relationship with other economic sectors, and in light of its contribution to preparing and reviewing contracts and laws regulating commercial, industrial and investment activities, the Ministry launched a number of initiatives that have an important role in reorganizing the real estate market and developing partnership areas with the private sector in many areas, he said.

He highlighted the Ministry's efforts in Law No. 22 of 2017 regulating real estate brokerage activities in order to develop the profession of real estate brokerage in the State, establish controls and create appropriate conditions for brokers, offices and their dealers to ensure the development of the real estate market and keep pace with the economic growth of which the real estate sector is the most prominent pillar. The value of this sector's transactions during the past year 2019 reached about QR 22.4 billion, he said.

Head of the conference's organizing committee H.E. Dr. Sheikh Thani bin Ali Al-Thani said that the conference reviewed the most important regulatory and legal aspects of the PPP system and highlighted the new administrative frameworks that are necessary for the success of these joint projects. He said that the partnership projects would contribute to achieving the strategic objectives of the state, defined in Qatar National Vision 2030.

He stressed that progress and prosperity Qatar witnessing will introduce a real picture to the world of the progress Qatar achieved.

The conference included three working sessions, the first focused on discussing opportunities and challenges in the light of the PPP law and some international experiences on the partnership between the two sectors, in addition to reviewing several research studies on partnership.

Speakers stressed during the conference that Law No. 12 of 2020 regarding organizing the partnership between the public and private sectors comes as a continuation of the efforts of the State of Qatar to consolidate the partnership between the two sectors, a partnership that will contribute to developing the capabilities of the Qatari private sector companies, encouraging competition among them, and enhancing its role and contribution in economic development, as well as creating a new vision for government agencies to manage national projects efficiently and effectively.

Also, the speakers reviewed the legal aspects related to the PPP law and leading international experiences, stressing that the law will enhance cooperation and partnership between the two sectors in the state and will create the appropriate environment for the implementation of many strategic projects in the State of Qatar. Besides, it will have a positive role in advancing economic growth in the country and contributing to the implementation of the Qatar National Vision projects and the 2022 World Cup projects.

Source: Qatar News Agency