Qatar hopes to soon have a law in place to regulate public-private partnership (PPP) which would allow the private sector to participate in key infrastructure projects more readily.
The Minister of Business and Trade, H E Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, hinted the move is part of long-term plans aimed at accelerating the transition from public sector-led development to a market-driven economy.
He told the Oxford Business Group's 'The Report (Qatar 2012)' in an interview: "We are currently working on a public-private partnership (PPP) law that will permit the private sector to participate in key infrastructure projects more readily".
Qatar already has a successful track record of partnerships between the private and public sectors. Citing an example, the Minister said over two-thirds of Qatar's power generating capacity was installed through PPPs.
The government now aims to repeat this success elsewhere. The private sector plays an increasingly important role in the development of the economy.
The government recognizes that the future of the economy hinges upon the growth of the private sector, and thus it endeavors to create real opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation between the public and private sectors.
To speed up the transition, the government needs to recognize that Qataris in the large public sector workforce are trying to engage in private sector enterprise.
About price control measures, he said Qatar is striving to achieve a balance between credit growth and inflation. When the equilibrium is lost, inflation hurts consumers and makes the market less competitive, slowing the growth rate of the overall economy.
To begin a discussion of price controls, one has to acknowledge that there are other factors affecting the prices of products than simply market supply or demand and consumer income.
"As part of our efforts to control the prices of products and services, the consumer protection department (CPD) prepares a monthly report in which it examines the prices of products and services to track their stability."
To increase transparency, the department statistically analyses the market and reports on the effects that its supervision efforts are having on the market. One objective of the department is to protect the lifestyles of consumers, insulating them from dramatic price fluctuations.
Price control measures are thus vital to both the public interest and the nation's macroeconomic stability, and such measures may require further regulation. However, they are necessary to the maintenance of healthy growth.