Qatar Chamber (QC), the country’s largest and oldest private industry representative body, has issued a total of 36, 453 certificates of origin (CO) including 1,453 COs issued online and 35,000 documented certificates for companies exporting and re-exporting national products in 2018, QC Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani said yesterday while addressing the Chamber’s annual general meeting.
During the event, Sheikh Khalifa reiterated that digital issuing of COs through the Chamber’s website, which seeks to stimulate trade and increase non-oil exports from Qatar, was one of QC’s achievements as it seeks to further develop its services.
In its report released recently, the QC also stated that Qatar’s non-oil exports had increased by 35.1 percent to QR24.4bn in 2018 from QR18.05bn in 2017.
Sheikh Khalifa went on to say that Qatar has overcome the ongoing blockade and continued its economic growth thereby becoming one of the most important and attractive investment destinations.
He added: “QC organisied 170 activities including conferences, seminars, and meetings. It participated in a large number of activities and events related to private sector. It joined the World ATA Carnet Council (WATAC) and the International Certificate of Origin Accreditation Chain at the International Chamber of Commerce”.
He also said the Chamber hosted 100 foreign trade delegations and organised seven business visits for Qatari businessmen to various countries last year, and highlighted the exhibitions hosted by QC including the ‘Made in Qatar’ expo in Oman which ended with several agreements and contracts between Qatari manufacturers and their Omani counterparts.
Speaking about the agreements made by the QC, Sheikh Khalifa said the Chamber signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the chambers of commerce of Nepal and Bulgaria, and entered into an agreement with the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade and Investment and Technology (COMCE) and the Palestinian Trade Centre.
The Chamber also organised 12 training courses and a number of arbitration courses which were organised by the Qatar International Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration.
Sheikh Khalifa added that the Chamber will continue its cooperation with all ministries and authorities in Qatar to overcome all obstacles facing the private sector here, and expressed his hope that the Chamber would achieve more this year while urging businessmen to actively participate in QC’s activities.
Talking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the event, Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company’s (QIMC) Chief Executive Officer Abdulrahman Abdulla Al Ansari said that the private sector in the country is now changing its strategy with new markets.
He said: “Now we’re targeting certain markets and certain products. We know what we have for non-oil export and the business committee at QC is reviewing our stategy. Based on that we choose which countries to target next. We’re now talking about some countries in Africa. We’re going to Oman, and we already went to Kuwait and Pakistan for talks. Some of these countries we’re importing and for others we want to export”.
QIMC has recently opened its manufacturing plant for Unilever’s Lipton and Red Label products in Qatar.
Asked if there are any similar partnerships with international companies in the pipeline, Al Ansari replied in the affirmative but declined to further specify which companies. “Yes, there are so many things in negotiation. We surprised people with Lipton and Red Label. There is something in the pipeline, and we’re discussing with not only Unilever, but with other big international companies and we’ll announce it soon,” he added.
During the meeting, which was held in the presence of board members and a number of businessmen and members, the report of the Board of Directors (BOD) and the audit report of 2018 was approved. The BOD also ratified the budget of 2019 and appointed a new auditor for this year.
Source from: The Peninsula