Qatar plans to increase its non-oil exports to close to QR4 billion a year by 2016 from a little over QR1 billion two years ago in a major initiative to diversify the economy away from the key energy sector, Gulf Times said.
Officials at Tasdeer, the export promotion arm of the Qatar Development Bank ( QDB ), said on Wednesday they had developed 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 five to 10 years from now," Ali Mohamed Al-Mohannadi, the export promotion officer at Tasdeer, was quoted by Gulf Times as saying.
He was interviewed on the sidelines of a two-day export competitiveness workshop organized 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 Gulf News, Qatar's non-oil exports are projected to jump up to QR3.8 billion in 2016, along with the expansion of the base of exporters.
The ambitious target indicates an almost four-fold increase compared to QR1.30 billion in 2010, the newspaper said.
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 body that oversees the export sector.
The key objective of the strategy, Gulf Times said, is to expand the base of Qatar's small and medium businesses in exporting non-oil products.
Al-Mohannadi said the agency was venturing many possible product but the focus at present was on plastic industry, fertilizer, 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 most of Qatari manufacturing companies are exporting to 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 Saudi Gazette