H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Interior Minister, stated that Qatar has long term strategic plans to develop trade relations with the untapped profitable markets in the world. This will be accomplished by working to overcome challenges and barriers to cross-border trade, diversifying the sources of imports and enhancing the competitiveness of non-oil products, in particular in the emerging economies of Asia, Africa and South America.
In an interview to Oxford Business Group’s (OBG) “Qatar 2019 Report”, H E the Prime Minister said visits to a number of South American, Asian and African countries by the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, have demonstrated the strategic plans to develop trade relations with these markets.
H E Sheikh Abdullah said Qatar’s total investment in the US and Europe is about $135bn. Qatar has also large investments in Asia, estimated at about $30bn, including $10bn in china. In Russia, Qatar’s investment amount to approximately $13bn.
H E the Prime Minister said consultations and meetings have been held among Qatari businessmen and their counterparts, contributing to the establishment of investment projects in these emerging markets. For instance, the investments in South Africa amount to more than $13bn and investments in Ethiopia total more than $500m.
On Qatar’s plans to develop Qatar as an attractive investment destination, H E Sheikh Abdullah said the country’s plans for attracting foreign capital is guided by three interrelated strategies. First, encourage FDI through the development of laws and legislations. Second, by expanding the role of private sector and third strategy is to create free zones.
Qatar is highly interested in boosting FDI as it is a major contributor to productivity, competitiveness and growth. To this end, Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has relaxed regulatory restrictions to attract investments in the local capital markets. Additionally, the government has enhanced the protection to minority investors, and has established ICT facilities to boost economic integration and state projects. The Council of Ministers has approved the establishment of a global data centre in Qatar for Microsoft, called Azure Cloud Computing.
Elaborating on the government’s agenda for industrial diversification, H E the Prime Minister said as a major component of Qatar National Vision 2030, the long-term national development plan, Qatar has been incorporating the transformation from a hydrocarbons-based economy to a knowledge-based economy. This has resulted in advances in education and technology.
Asia is the main destination for Qatar energy exports, and long-term contracts with client countries have helped us overcome price fluctuations. In fact, the top-five trading partners for the country are from Asia and account for 64 percent of total exports. “Qatar is advancing its policy of diversification and readiness to move towards a knowledge-based economy by developing education in all stages, and partnering with the most prominent educational institutions in the world. We also aim to motivate and develop the spirit of innovation, encourage entrepreneurship in the society and create an environment that is suitable for entrepreneurs, enabling them to develop and innovate all sectors,” H E Sheikh Abdullah said. H E the Prime Minister added the State-owned Qatar Development Bank is supporting the business incubator for startups focused on technology and innovation.
Source from: The Peninsula