HE the Chairman of Qatar Chamber, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani, underlined that the Qatar National Day is an important occasion for the Qatari people to express their pride and belonging to their homeland, and their love and support to the wise leadership, adding that this precious occasion represents an opportunity to highlight the achievements accomplished by the State at all levels and in all fields, and a strong push to achieve more in the coming years.
In a statement to the Qatar News Agency (QNA) on the occasion of the Qatar National Day, HE Sheikh Khalifa extended on behalf of himself and all members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and the private sector, the sincerest congratulations to His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani; His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani; and His Highness the Deputy Amir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Thani; and to the Qatari people and the residents of Qatar on this precious occasion, praying to Allah the Almighty to perpetuate the blessing of security, safety, prosperity and progress for the State of Qatar under the wise leadership and the tireless efforts of the esteemed government.
HE the Chairman of Qatar Chamber underlined that this national occasion is an opportunity to reaffirm the loyalty and pride to the beloved State of Qatar and the wise leadership, and their great confidence in the ability to face all challenges, saying: “As we have succeeded to overcome the blockade crisis with all its consequences and turning it into gains, the State of Qatar has also succeeded in firmly confronting the coronavirus crisis, thanks to its sound policy and strategies”.
He noted that the State of Qatar’s commitment to the principals and values established by the late Founder has had a great role in facing the challenges, commanding the support of the Qatari people and the residents of Qatar to the wise leadership and their adherence to those values, which had a significant role in confronting these difficulties. He added that Qatar’s adoption of these values and principles has contributed to achieving a prominent position internationally and enabled it to become an example of the values of respect, justice, peace, co-operation, and support for the oppressed and the needy, along with other noble values.
Highlighting the efforts made by Qatar Chamber, HE Sheikh Khalifa stressed that Qatar Chamber works in accordance with the directives of the wise leadership and spares no effort to contribute to the endeavours made by the State and the esteemed government as a representative and sponsor of the private sector.
HE Sheikh Khalifa explained that Qatar Chamber was keen on strengthening communication with the concerned authorities in the State and harnessed all its capabilities to serve the State. It organised many meetings, either virtual or in person, while taking all precautionary measures, in order to discuss all the efforts that the private sector can do and the obstacles it faces.
HE added that the Board of Directors of Qatar Chamber held an emergency meeting and formed an emergency committee tasked with following up the developments in all economic sectors, to be a communication link between the private sector and the Chamber and government agencies, in order to resolve all obstacles and present initiatives or suggestions that would contribute to overcoming the crisis.
HE Sheikh Khalifa referred to the “Takatuf Initiative” which was launched by Qatar Chamber and focused on two aspects. The first includes the private sectors contribution to the State’s efforts to confront the pandemic, and the second concerns motivating large companies to help and support small and medium-sized companies that have been greatly affected by the repercussions of the pandemic. He stressed that the initiative achieved amazing success and yielded positive results, noting many initiatives launched by local companies and business owners.
HE the Chairman of Qatar Chamber also highlighted the important role carried out by the Chamber’s sectoral committees, which intensified their meetings with representatives of the companies, discussed all the obstacles and listened to the proposals and submitted them to the concerned authorities. Thanks to these measures, many problems that faced the private sector due to the pandemic were solved. The Chamber also launched the “Labour Re-employment Platform” for the private sector, in co-operation with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, with the aim of helping companies obtain skilled workers from laid-off workers, in order to ensure the continuity of business and projects without disruption.
HE Sheikh Khalifa applauded the sound vision of the wise leadership, which was embodied during the crises that the State of Qatar has gone through, affirming that this wise vision had a great impact in reducing the effects of the crises, and even turned them into economic gains.
During the blockade crisis, for example, the wise leadership accelerated economic plans and provided many incentives and facilities to enhance the industry, agriculture and productivity, which helped protect the economy or the private sector from being affected by the repercussions of the blockade. On the contrary, the State achieved self-sufficiency ratios and proved to the world that Qatar is a crisis-proof country, HE the Chairman of Qatar Chamber continued.
During the coronavirus crisis, HE added, the wise leadership provided a financial package worth QR75bn in order to help the private sector overcome the crisis. Moreover, the Qatar Central Bank was directed to put in place an appropriate mechanism to encourage banks to postpone loan instalments and obligations of the private sector. Among other decisions is also directing Qatar Development Bank to postpone instalments for all borrowers for a period of six months. Government funds were also directed to increase their investments in the stock exchange by QR10bn, in addition to exempting food and medical goods from customs duties for a period of six months, provided that this is reflected in the selling price. Certain sectors were exempted from electricity and water fees for a period of six months. All these steps contributed to strengthening the private sector and promoting business and project continuity in the country.
Highlighting the achievements of Qatar Chamber in 2020, HE Sheikh Khalifa said the Chamber continued its services to the business community without delay, despite the challenges imposed by the coronavirus crisis, which has cast a shadow over all the economies of the world.
HE noted that Qatar Chamber held more than 100 events, whether at the Chambers headquarters or through virtual communication technology, in 2020. The Chamber hosted nine commercial delegations, organised and participated in two exhibitions, and held more than 16 seminars and forums, in addition to many external participations, training and arbitration programmes and various publications. Also in 2020, Qatar Chamber obtained the ISO27001 certificate, based on its application of the latest international standards in the field of management, information security and risk assessment.
Moreover, Qatar Chamber won the membership of the General Council of the World Chambers Federation (WFC), which includes 32 members. In addition, the Chairman of Qatar Chamber was elected as a member of the Executive Council of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), based in Paris, HE added.