Victory over the economic blockade imposed against the country in June last year has helped attract more foreign investors to Qatar, according to Qatar Businessmen Association chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani.
Speaking at QBA’s 31st board meeting held recently, Sheikh Faisal said Qatar was able to mitigate the repercussions of the unjust siege, and was able to strengthen the country’s industrial and economic position. “This has led to attracting many investors to Qatar without paying any attention to the land, air, and sea blockade. After that, Qatar was able to secure quick and effective alternatives to ensure the safety of their investments and the ease of exporting and importing in a smooth and flexible way,” he said. During QBA’s business trips to Europe and the US, Sheikh Faisal said Qatari businessmen “sensed the positive international reputation of Qatar” after it was able to overcome the Gulf crisis, “and transformed the year of the blockade into a year of work and achievements.”
“Qatari businessmen visited some of the world’s largest economies and met their counterparts and officials in these countries, and received great welcome to strengthen trade relations and to come to Qatar to establish many important industries that are of interest to the economy,” he said.Sheikh Faisal presided over the meeting and reviewed QBA activities last year as well as the upcoming initiatives, in the presence of QBA first deputy Hussain Alfardan, QBA second deputy Dr Sheikh Khalid bin Thani al-Thani, and QBA members Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser al-Thani, Sherida Saad Jubran al-Kaabi, and Saud al-Mana representing Omar al-Mana.
Last year, QBA held “intensive activities,” the most important of which was the organisation and participation in the ‘Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum held in the UK where more than 500 businessmen and government officials led by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani participated. QBA also visited major European capitals like Paris, Berlin, and London to explore various investment opportunities in specialised economic fields and sectors in food security, health, and pharmaceuticals, as well as to promote Qatar as an investment destination, which was aligned with the objectives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to open free zones and offer new privileges to foreign investors. The board also discussed QBA’s participation in the ‘Economic Promotional Tour’ organised in the US by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, which included meetings with senior US government officials and representatives of the private sector.
In Miami, QBA organised three sectoral roundtables with their counterparts covering the fields of real estate investment, hospitality and tourism, health and medical equipment; while in Washington, DC, QBA arranged two sectoral roundtables to discuss law firms and investment and financial services. Another multi-sectoral roundtable was organised in South Carolina. In addition, meetings were held with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in which QBA members highlighted the strengths and growth of the Qatari economy within the Qatar National Vision 2030, and the facilities granted by the government to foreign investors, especially with the opening of Hamad Port – the largest port in the Middle East. At the local level, QBA continued to receive many trade delegations to strengthen bilateral ties and contribute to the provision of the needs of the State and the local market.
QBA said it was able to undertake sectoral studies of many of the necessary fields that are “considered as the cornerstone of the economy based on diversity.” It also participated in several ministerial committees with various ministries in order to participate in the development of plans and policies related to the business environment and the private sector. The association also held dozens of meetings with internationally-recognised economic institutions, chambers of commerce, embassies in Doha, international and local institutions, and banks, with the aim of developing co-operation to serve the private sector, while hosting senior officials from different countries, heads of state, prime ministers, and ministers.