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Posted On: 25 November 2014 04:46 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:14 pm

New zone eyes Gulf hub status

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HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani led the groundbreaking for the world-scale Ras Bufontas Special Economic Zone yesterday.

It is being developed by Manateq, the Qatari developer and operator of advanced economic zones and projects that “offer superior business environment to the country’s private sector”.

In all, three specialised economic zones are being developed by Manateq.

The ground-breaking ceremony was conducted by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce together with Manateq. HE the Minister of Environment Ahmed bin Amer al-Humaidi was among the dignitaries present.

Ras Bufontas, an advanced technology and logistics economic zone, spreads over a 4.01 km² area. Its strategic location adjacent to Hamad International Airport (HIA) provides easy access and turns it into a commercial destination in the Gulf region.

In addition to Ras Bufontas, Manateq has been tasked to develop two other special economic zones. One of these is the Um Alhoul Special Economic Zone, a 33.52 km² light manufacturing cluster that adjoins the New Port project, south of Al Wakrah.

It will cater to businesses involved in petrochemicals, building materials, maritime, metals, logistics, food processing and others (auto, tools and machinery).

Ras Bufontas will allow Manateq to establish an investment platform for local and international businesses in airfreight and logistic services. It will reinforce goods transportation to and from the world to the special economic zone as its proximity to the new airport and link to the rail network and highways facilitates a seamless flow of goods between this and the other zones as well. Consequently, operational costs of transportation and warehousing services for investors will be alleviated.

HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser stressed the government’s interest in supporting the private sector under the directive of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and his instructions through his speech at the Shura Council to support the private sector in the country.

“This ceremony comes under the high patronage of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Qatar’s efforts in establishing a widely-diversified economy must be built on a solid foundation that includes a strong private sector and small and medium enterprises (SME) participation,” said HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim.

“Qatar is relentless in its pursuit of the aspirations contained in the Qatar National Vision 2030 plan. Through the development and operation of world-class facilities that address the needs of a wide range of business sectors, as well as the corresponding ease of doing business policies, Manateq aims to create further opportunities for business profitability and growth,” he added.

He pointed out that application for land allocation for investors at Ras Bufontas would be received by the second quarter of 2015, while lands for the first and second development phases would be delivered to investors in the first quarter of 2016.

In implementing its mission of playing an essential part in the delivery of Qatar’s National Vision, Manateq develops and operates three advanced economic zones that offer world-class business environments to the local and international private sector.

Ras Bufontas aims to attract investors from different business sectors such as logistics, information and communications, and healthcare.

“Once completed, Manateq’s specialised economic zones will provide further distinct advantages to specific business sectors,” explained Manateq CEO Fahad Rashid al-Kaabi.

“For instance, the advanced technology cluster at Ras Bufontas brings together clean manufacturing, supply chain and service activities in high value-add sectors such as ICT/electronics, energy/environment, healthcare, building systems, aviation, etc. Further, it aims to be a one-stop-shop for various essential services for companies to start up their operations within the specialised economic zones efficiently and successfully,” he pointed out.

Manateq was established as an autonomous government company.

Its mandate covers the development of special economic zones and projects that will provide world-class infrastructure. This will facilitate and support many sectors including the economic sector and the industrial sector in particular.