Posted on December 24, 2015

In a seminar held on December 13 at Doha’s Sharq Village and Spa, the Qatar Institute for Public Finance (QIPF) saw its official launch as a collaboration between the Qatar Finance and Business Academy (QFBA), the OECD (Organization for Economic Co­operation and Development) and the Qatar’s Ministry of Finance (MoF). Capping the QIPF launch, a media roundtable was held on December 23 at the QFBA headquarters, discussing QIPF’s mission to become a MENA hub for knowledge and reform in Public Financial Management via research, training and consultation.

At a turning point for the MENA region, led by paradigm shifts in economies, evolving fiscal policies and key growth in private sectors, Qatar is witnessing a period of economic prosperity in the lead-up to the World Cup 2022. The QFBA, with support from the MoF and financial regulators, is actively spearheading capacity building projects and initiatives that support this growth and empower private and public finance professionals to raise the bar in their fields.

“After the success of Kawader and Kafaa’ in Qatar, the QIPF is QFBA’s first region-wide initiative, aiming to serve as a knowledge and reform hub in public financial management via research, training and consultation. Ultimately, its mission is four-fold: raising awareness around effective and efficient public finance in the region, sharing best practice in policy and framework development; serving as a market intelligence and data resource for the industry; and bolstering interaction among the various public finance professionals in the region.” said Dr. Al-Horr, the CEO of QFBA.

Designed as an interactive forum for officials to exchange knowledge and insights around public financial management in infrastructure with a focus on public-private partnerships, QIPF’s launch seminar tackled hot topics and key issues pertaining to this space, showcasing international case studies from markets around the world. Opening the seminar, Ian Hawkesworth, Head, PPP and Capital Budgeting, OECD, took attendees through the new OECD framework for public governance of infrastructure. The seminar featured success case studies of the UK’s PPP framework, Portugal’s experience in managing political and fiscal risks from PPPs as well as reporting, measurement, transparency and accountability issues in infrastructure.

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“The first regional seminar organized by the Qatar Institute for Public Finance, in cooperation with the OECD, has enabled useful dialogue between peers, and the sharing of international and local good practices. We trust the creation of the QIFP will contribute to the development of high-quality budgeting and public expenditures in Qatar and the region.” said Jón Blondal, head of the Budgeting & Public Expenditures division in the OECD’s Public Governance & Territorial Development Directorate. ,” says Mr. Jon Blondal, Head of Budgeting and Public Expenditures, at the OECD.

Echoing Mr. Blondal, Mr. Badr Al-Qayd ; Director of the International Cooperation Department for the Ministry of Finance, adds: “Aligning with the human and economic development pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030, the QIPF indeed marks a region-wide initiative and a springboard to address current and future policy issues and share best practice in public financial management. The QIPF will 3 deliver upon core activities: research based public policy papers on topics specific to the region, regional seminars for experience sharing among high-level agency officials in MENA, and a fiscal literacy program that will be engaging Qatari officials and citizens in a series of workshops.”

An international organization aimed at promoting policies that improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world, the OECD enables governments to understand and tackle economic, social and environmental change issues, opportunities and challenges. As such, its mission covers various facets of fiscal discipline and long-term fiscal sustainability, resource allocation and monetary efficiency in government operations.

As the central body responsible for the economy and public finances within the State of Qatar, the MoF carries out several functions, including the preparation and implementation of state budgets in alignment with national development as well as reform initiatives to modernize Qatar’s resource allocation process. Moreover, it is also responsible for the development of international relations between the state and other countries and organizations in this area.