Qatar does not have to copy a model of success in its drive to become a knowledge-based economy and can find its own niche, Rand Corporation senior economist Dr Krishna Kumar said yesterday.
Speaking at a Rand-Qatar Policy Institute (RQPI)’ Speakers’ Series, held in partnership with GSDP, Dr Kumar said all “winners” such as South Korea, Ireland and Malaysia found their own respective paths to the goal.
“We have to ask ourselves what are the country’s aspirations? Do you want to proceed like Korea or leap like Ireland and Malaysia? How economically open to become?” he said during a presentation titled ‘Policies to Develop Knowledge Economies, Innovation and Business Formation’.
In doing so, a country can also use the existing knowledge that is made elsewhere and adapt it to local needs.
“You don’t have to re-invent the wheel,” he said.
“You have to know which path of openness, education, R&D and targets you are going to follow, as every country followed its own strategy,” Dr Kumar added.
The official also maintained, citing examples of the three countries that Qatar needs to get the basic (primary and secondary) education straight first and then focus on the higher education.
“There are strengths and challenges (for Qatar). One example is the establishment of credit bureau since less than 1% of population is covered by a bureau here, as compared to 100% in Malaysia,” he said, while adding that such a bureau is critical for the growth of small and medium enterprises.
According to him, various pathways to a knowledge-based economy include either the acquisition of technology or its creation.
“Then you can disseminate it. But the most important aspect will be its utilisation,” he said.
A total of four distinguished speakers presented at the RQPI event which was held under the topic of ‘Labour Markets, Entrepreneurship, Knowledge Economy, and Pension Systems’.
Earlier while welcoming guests, RQPI director Dr Bruce Nardulli said the organisation has been in Qatar since 2003 with a primary mission of providing analytical assistance to policy-makers to help improve decision-making both in Qatar and the region.
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