QC chairman hails Qatar’s efforts to support SMEs

During the inauguration of the 1st QC SMEs conference

Qatar Chamber Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamad al Thani on Tuesday lauded the efforts made by Qatar under the leadership of the Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which contribute to the economic boom witnessed in the country.

Speaking at the opening session of Qatar Chamber’s first conference on SMEs in Doha, Sheikh Khalifa praised government directives, laws, facilities and encouragement to businessmen to invest in this sector.

Due to the vision of Qatari leadership, he said, the country has succeeded in achieving a high profile internationally.

The aim of the two-day conference is to promote entrepreneurship, stimulate services for SMEs, support diversification and create employment opportunities for the national work force.

Sponsored by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) as a strategic partner and Qatar National Bank (QNB), the event aims to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge they need by linking them with relevant organisations

German private sector keen to invest in Qatar: minister

German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel has lauded Qatar’s efforts to develop and promote the use of renewable energy to spur economic development. “Germany wants to diversify its gas supply sources and transport routes, and share its high-level of expertise in renewable energies.

We, therefore, welcome the supply agreements that have been set up between companies in Germany and Qatar,” said Gabriel, who was speaking at Qatar Chamber’s two-day “1st SMEs Conference,” which concludes today at the Four Seasons Hotel.

He also stressed that Germany welcomes Qatar’s strides to integrate “green technologies” in the construction of stadiums and other facilities to be used in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“We see no contradiction in using oil and gas while promoting the use of renewable energies; there are many channels to explore in the areas of infrastructure and Qatar is making great strides in its preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“And Germany welcomes the fact that Qatar is endeavouring to make the World Cup a zero carbon emission event,” Gabriel stressed.

Citing its broad experience in the areas of vocational training, engineering, and renewable

energy, Gabriel said many German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are looking to Qatar to explore investment opportunities here.

He added that since most German SMEs are family-owned, “they intend to forge long-lasting partnerships with their international counterparts.” “The German business community is a competent and reliable sector, and this is also especially true for German SMEs. The strengths of our small and midsized economy are based on their commitment to engage in long-term investments,” Gabriel said.

According to Gabriel, SMEs serve as “the backbone of German economy and drivers of innovation. Unlike large corporations, Gabriel said that SMEs in Germany cannot afford to hire lawyers and waste money on bureaucracy. “SMEs need a stable framework, as well as a long-term perspective, clear jurisdiction, and transparent tax system. They are more focused on the business unlike the bigger companies that are able to employ

many lawyers thus, making them capable of investing in international markets,” he elaborated.

He added, “So, if you convince  them that your economy is stable, with a clear framework, fair, and has a transparent administration, then you will be able to convince them to come

and invest in your country.” Gabriel said more than 140 players from Germany’s private sector have expressed “keen interest” to invest in Qatar.

“Our SMEs are ready to enter international levels of co-operation. German SMEs offer ideal investment opportunities to investors from Qatar and you are welcome partners for Germany,” Gabriel emphasized.

Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani said the “1st SMEs Conference” aims to promote entrepreneurship, stimulate services for local SMEs, to support diversification, and create employment opportunities for the national workforce.

“Our projects have proven their ability to balance the domain of business and development and to generate employment and to boost the wheel of development of the country,” Sheikh Khalifa added.

Mansoori reiterates QSE’s support to SME sector

The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) is currently working with a short-list of companies that will seek approval of the regulators for listing on the QE venture markets in the coming years, CEO Rashid bin Ali al Mansoori has said.

Speaking at the 1st SMEs Conference organised by Qatar Chamber on Tuesday, he said concrete progress that has been achieved has been the association of QE with QDB in assisting Qatari SMEs associated with listing.

“Together we offer individual candidate companies help with the fees payable to listing advisors of up to $100,000 and we encourage you to investigate this option,” he said.

Underlining the importance of the QE Venture Market as a supporting tool for the development of the SME’s, Mansoori said QSE recognises the importance of the SME sector which globally provides the foundation for successful economies, contributing employment opportunities, wealth creation and increased output.

The QE Venture Market aims to back the growth of SMEs and position the bourse at the centre of the government’s support for this important sector, he said.

Mansoori recalled several stories of success where SMEs have become giant companies and playing important roles in the economies of their countries.

“The characteristics of the QE Venture Market reflect the objectives of allowing SMEs to list and raise capital more easily and cheaply than would be the case on the main market whilst retaining the trust of the investor base through a structured regulatory framework”, he said.

Given the challenging environment for financing SMEs. Mansoori said the need for innovative exchange solutions for SMEs is more apparent than ever.

He commended the QSE for becoming the second largest stock market in the region after the Saudi Market.

“Qatar Stock Exchange has seen in 2014 a tremendous increase in trading volumes following its upgrade in the MSCI to Emerging market and the listing of Mesaieed Company for trading on the exchange,” he said.

Noting that QSE has worked with the regulator (QFMA) to provide the legal framework for listing on this market, he said QE Venture Market will be open as well for the listing of regional and international small and medium size ventures.

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The conference represented an opportunity to share best practice to enable local SMEs to compete for the business opportunities Qatar has to offer by connecting them with key stakeholders.

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