Posted on December 03, 2020

A comprehensive Covid-19 Response Report (CRR) jointly produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI), explores the country’s RDI landscape in the context of attracting new investments in research, innovation, technology development, and entrepreneurship, as it looks to strongly emerge from the global pandemic.

The first ever OBG CRR on Qatar provides in-depth analysis of the emirate’s response to the pandemic in an easy-to-navigate and accessible format, focusing on key data and infographics relating to the socio-economic landscape. Innovation lies at the core of National Vision 2030, the country’s development plan, with QSTP playing a central role in driving efforts to diversify the economy and foster an effective RDI ecosystem. OBG’s report examines the positive effects that the pandemic-induced wave of innovation could have on the country’s burgeoning tech industry in the longer term.

Fintech, which has benefited from pandemic-related growth in e-commerce and digital payments, is one of several key areas explored. The CRR maps out the many opportunities that the segment offers for venture capital investments on the back of rising demand for cashless payment solutions. Subscribers will also find several case studies documenting the part that QSTP and its partners played in supporting Qatar’s response to the pandemic, either directly by delivering solutions or indirectly by promoting tech initiatives and sharing pandemic-focused insights.

Elsewhere, OBG charts Qatar’s successful efforts to increase self-sufficiency, which look set to gain further traction across diverse segments of the economy as firms continue to strengthen local supply chains. In its most recent survey of GCC executives, undertaken in July, more than half (53%) of Qatar-based CEOs told OBG that they were likely or very likely to relocate their supply chains more locally, in response to disruptions in global supply chains during the pandemic.

Qatar’s plans to continue investing heavily in its energy sector are another area of focus. Here, OBG explores the country’s plans to develop the North Field gas reserves, which are expected to reaffirm Qatar’s leading position in the global LNG market over the long term. Yosouf Al-Salehi, Executive Director, QSTP, said that although the pandemic has created some unprecedented challenges, it has also provided Qatari businesses and entrepreneurs with the opportunity to innovate.

“Sustained progress in developing Qatar's RDI and technology ecosystem means we have a robust pool of entrepreneurial talent capable of devising innovative technology solutions," he added. "At the same time, the wave of digital transformation that has been unleashed across the corporate sector bodes well for the recovery phase and is likely to enhance the long-term competitiveness of our economy."

Jana Treeck, OBG’s Managing Director for the Middle East, said that while Qatar was unable to escape the economic impact of Covid-19, its robust economy and efforts to diversify the economy helped to cushion the impact of a sudden drop in global supply and demand. “Far-reaching polices focused on developing and expanding important sectors of the economy, including infrastructure, health care, ICT and manufacturing, have helped Qatar to both improve its competitiveness and boost inflows,” she said. “Against that backdrop, the IMF expects Qatar’s economy to contract by the lowest amount in the GCC this year, before returning to robust growth in 2021.”

The CRR on Qatar forms part of a series of tailored reports which the global research and advisory company is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Covid-19 Economic Impact Assessment articles and interviews.

The CRR is available to view at: https://oxfordbusinessgroup.com/blog/billy-fitzherbert/focus-reports/report-what-impact-has-covid-19-pandemic-had-qatars-start

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