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'Ready-built factories' to boost SME sector

Construction cranes and bulldozers operate near Zig Zag Towers in Doha

Construction cranes and bulldozers operate near Zig Zag Towers in Doha

Reuters/Mohamad Dabbouss

10 March 2017
HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani yesterday inaugurated a project at the New Industrial Area that aims to promote small and medium enterprises in the country. Jahiz1 is a Qatar Development Bank (QDB) initiative to rent ready-built industrial facilities for manufacturing. In his opening remarks, HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada praised Qatar’s small and medium enterprises, which “have succeeded” in meeting the requirements of industrial sectors set by the ministry. These units are operating in the fields of chemicals, plastics, wood, and electronics and are “innovative and eco-friendly”. 

Jahiz1 project comes in line with the vision of the Ministry of Energy and Industry to build a strong industrial production base in the country and supports local products, in order to achieve balanced economic growth, and not depend on revenues from oil as the main source of income. It also increases the industrial sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). Al-Sada said the initiative was based on government guidelines that support the economic system in Qatar by strengthening Qatari entrepreneurship and products, promoting a culture of creativity and innovation, developing economic policies and legislation in line with the best international standards, developing the private sector to face competition and regulating the SME sector and national entrepreneurship. 

He said the Prime Minister has directed the Business and Investment Environment Development Committee to promote economic growth in the country by focusing on diversification and tapping domestic as well as foreign investments. The National Development Strategy 2017-2022 lays emphasis on achieving a strong partnership between the public and private sectors as well as involving the community and citizens in the process. Al-Sada said Qatar had achieved a top position in the Global Competitiveness Index and was ranked second in the Middle East and 18th globally in the latest report of the World Economic Forum. This rating is among the highest in the world. Qatar’s GDP at constant prices also achieved an annual growth through 2015 compared to the average growth rate of the oil exporting countries in the Middle East. 

The contribution of the private sector to Qatar’s GDP had also gone up, he added QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa in his speech said the Jahiz1 project represented “an episode of successes achieved by Qatari entrepreneurs.” QDB, he said, had extended support to Qatari entrepreneurs and the small and medium enterprises, from the drawing board stage. He said QDB was “effectively working” in co-operation with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce to prepare a national framework for small and medium enterprises within the National Development Strategy 2017-2022. After the inauguration an introductory film on Jahiz1 project was screened. Under Jahiz1, QDB “provides an opportunity to rent ready-built industrial facilities for manufacturing.” Plots will be provided on monthly lease for up to five years in many sectors.

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© Gulf Times 2017
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