QATAR plans to jack up its non-oil exports to close to QR4bn a year

Ali al-Mohannadi: export drive

Qatar plans to jack up its non-oil exports to close to QR4bn a year by 2016 from a little over QR1bn two years ago in a major initiative to diversify the economy away from the key energy sector.

Officials at Tasdeer,  the export promotion arm of the Qatar Development Bank (QDB), told Gulf Times yesterday they had chalked out a strategy based on both financing and developing of entrepreneurship in the country.

“We have plans to make Qatar shine. It will be known not for oil only five to 10 years from now,” said Ali Mohamed al-Mohannadi, the export promotion officer at Tasdeer.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day export competitiveness workshop organised by the QDB and International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint body of the United Nations and World Trade Organisation (WTO) that helps connects exporters with importers.

According to a strategy paper he shared with this newspaper,  Qatar’s non-oil exports are projected to  jump up to QR3.8bn in 2016 along with the expansion of the base of exporters.

The ambitious target indicates an almost four-fold increase compared to QR1.30bn in 2010.

But since then the authorities have redoubled efforts to broaden the base of non-oil exports by establishing Tasdeer or Qatar Export Development Agency, a dedicated body to oversee all the aspects of the sector.

The key objective of the strategy is to expand the base of Qatar small and medium businesses in exporting  non-oil products.

Al-Mohannadi said the agency was venturing in almost every possible product but the focus right now was on plastic industry, fertiliser, processed meat, an ice cream brand, dates and olive oil that is imported from Tunisia and elsewhere to treat in Qatar for re-export.

He said the agency was encouraging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Qatar with services like financing, credit and risk management, insurance and helping the business partners across the globe and region.

The official added that right now most of Qatari manufacturing companies were exporting to other countries in the Gulf region only but they were eying the wider world market in future.

Tasdeer recently launched its global export-driven initiative known as Exim Link.

The initiative aims to provide non-oil Qatari exporters with an effective tool to reach key target importers from across the world.

As an initial step, Tasdeer has prepared a list of 122 Qatari exporters with their contact details, including mobile numbers of key personnel and the harmonised system (HS) code of the product manufactured by each company.

It also collected the contact details of importers from select target countries as per the HS codes of the products manufactured by the Qatari exporters.

Source: Caye Global, Gulf Times

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