The Minister of Commerce and Industry, H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari said that Qatar is among the few early adaptors of new economic models and policies and already working to build a vibrant sustainable economy for future generations.
Speaking at a high-level panel discussion organized by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) on “How Global Challenges and Regional Trends are Shaping the Middle East, Minister Al Kuwari also noted that given the challenging global and regional environment, Qatar has accelerated to process of economic diversification which is in line with the country’s long-term development goals, which include developing infrastructure and logistics services to become a regional trade and investment hub.
The session was organized within the framework of the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Davos, Switzerland from 21 to 24 January 2020.
In his remarks, he touched on the global challenges and regional trends that are reshaping the Middle East and elaborated on the region’s geopolitical landscape, political stability factors and development efforts in the field of technology, industry, and innovation.
The Minister discussed the structural economic challenges facing the Middle East, noting that the most prominent of these challenges is the rentier economic models upon which most regional economies were built. He explained that lower oil prices, increased global competition and growing populations have rendered these models unsustainable.
Touching on governmental efforts to build a long-term sustainable economy for future generations, Minister Al Kuwari said Qatar has already adopted new models of change in line with its National Vision 2030.
He added that the illegal siege imposed on the country has provided the government with further impetus to accelerate the implementation of these economic diversification strategies. In this context, Qatar has opted for the diversification of its economy and sought to transition towards a modern knowledge-based economy by encouraging investments in education, health, tourism, and industry, which fosters innovation and human capacity building, the Minister said.
Qatar is also one of the world’s leading producers of LNG and is strategically located in a region that is rich in high-quality raw materials and home to two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves. Qatar’s attractive business environment and its ongoing preparations to host the 2022 World Cup will provide investors with the opportunity to finance, develop, and operate projects in a variety of sectors including food security, sports, tourism, health, education, and logistics, he said.
The Minister also emphasized Qatar’s belief in the values of tolerance and dialogue, which represent the only path to rising above geopolitical problems.
The session brought together Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, and Professor Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist at MIT and Co-Founder of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.
Minsiter Al Kuwari also participated in the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders (IGWEL), an important meeting organized within the framework of the WEF to promote dialogue between world leaders on issues of common concern.
This year’s WEF is being held under the theme “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World” and focuses on global, regional and national initiatives that have a positive impact on all stakeholders.