Qatar’s international presence plays a significant role in promoting the country as a destination for business, investment, and the source of Qatari-manufactured products abroad, a top Qatar Chamber official has said.
In an interview with Oxford Business Group’s The Report Qatar 2019, Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani said promoting local products requires organizing trade missions, participating in trade exhibitions, and cementing co-operation with other countries.
On how international investment can help promote growth in capital-intensive sectors, Sheikh Khalifa said, “International investments in any country can improve capital-intensive sectors and boost the economy. Sectors that require large amounts of capital to start and operate, such as construction and real estate development, are then able to access a global network of investors to enhance their financial standing and long-term sustainability. Inward investments help foreign capital inflow and push broader economic development.”
“Qatar’s outward foreign direct investment plays a major role in economic development and diversification through significant investments abroad…inward and outward investments allow Qatar to both reduce its dependence on oil and gas and support the economy’s standing internationally,” he said.
On the role of laws and legislation in attracting investments, Sheikh Khalifa said the government has implemented a number of legislative reforms and measures to simplify the business environment, attract further investment, and provide incentives to increase private-sector production.
He pointed out that these reforms included Law No 1 of 2019 regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital in economic activity in Qatar, allowing foreign investors to own 100% of the shares in most economic sectors, and up to 49% in Qatari companies listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange.
Qatar has also implemented a law that allows visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, as well as amendments to the labor and residency law and the draft of the public-private partnership law. These reforms provide incentives that benefit the private sector and small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, he said.
On procedures of attestation and issuance in facilitating export and import processes, Sheikh Khalifa said improvements have been made to these procedures to facilitate the movement of imports and exports, noting that Qatar Chamber has upgraded its website to act as a platform to interact with local businessmen, improving communication and feedback on challenges they face.
“We also developed our services – particularly those available online – to allow some private companies to digitally attest certain documents including the certificate of origin,” he said, adding that Qatar Chamber is the country’s national guarantee for issuing the ATA Carnet.