Posted on June 01, 2011

HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI), has said the Qatari private sector needs to be provided with mechanisms to ensure equivalent conditions of competition. The QCCI Chairman said that the private sector can neither compete with state-owned companies nor with state-backed joint stock companies, stressing the fact that the sector will remain marginalized and unable to make real contributions unless the mechanisms required to ensure equivalent conditions of competition are in place.

This came in a speech he delivered today before the Fifth Consultative Meeting with Businessmen and QCCI on Activating the Role of the Private Sector in the Development Process. He said that he does not demand the private sector be provided with preferential benefits, but rather he wants to ensure that equal opportunities for competition are considered to enable the sector to function and prove its existence. The QCCI Chairman said the slogan ''Integration Rather Than Competition'', under which this meeting is held, proves we want to emphasize that comprehensive and sustainable development should be based on a true partnership between the government and the private sector.

He added that the problem with the Qatari private sector lies in its inability to compete, adding that it was obvious that the motives behind the government's benefits granted to foreign companies or joint stock companies were to ensure that major projects can be completed on time. Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani stressed that unless the private sector get its share of the major projects that are being offered, the sector will remain undeveloped and will continue to be forced a mere agent for services.

He urged the government to enact legislation and put mechanisms to strike a balance between the desire of completing projects on time and the right of the private sector to get its share from the offered mega projects. He noted that the previous consultative meetings achieved many gains, mainly the establishment of a privileged relationship between the private sector and the executive bodies and ministries. Several ministries and QCCI formed joint committees to discuss the problems facing the private sector, pointing out that most of these problems and obstacles that were referred to these committees were solved, he said.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani stressed that the QCCI has become one of the most prominent chambers of commerce in the world. The QCCI Chairman extended his deepest thanks and gratitude to HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, for their efforts, adding that Qatar has achieved many accomplishments at political, economic, scientific and sporting levels. He also thanked HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister for his commitment to hold this consultative meeting to strengthen the private sector.