Posted on October 15, 2017

Initiating a new chapter of commercial diplomacy for the State of Qatar, Qatar Development Bank (QDB), through its export program, Tasdeer, enabled the nation to become the first country amongst the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to acquire membership of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). The European Commission finalized the country’s new status, making Qatar the 67th country in the Network.

The Enterprise Europe Network, commonly known as “the Network,” is an initiative of the European Commission to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with international ambitions in the European Union (EU) and its international partner countries. The Network is active worldwide (including 28 EU member countries and 38 non-member countries outside of the EU), bringing together 3,000 experts from more than 600 member organizations.

Notably, the Network’s member organizations operate across a diverse range of sectors, including technology poles, innovation support organizations, universities and research institutes, regional development organizations, and various chambers of commerce and industry. This network gives members a range of services that enable their access to importers, distributors and suppliers for products and services in all sectors across all the countries in which it has a presence. It will also offer Qatari companies the opportunity to search through a huge database of business requests and offers that can lead to trade or manufacturing agreements for raw materials, industrial products, consumer goods as well as IT-related services and equipment.

Commenting on the inclusion of Qatar as a member of EEN, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), QDB, Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Khalifa said: “We, at QDB, are honored to have enabled Qatar to achieve ‘member’ status in the prestigious Enterprise Europe Network. Through our newfound membership status, we underscore our nation’s solid ability to unlock new markets through fostering new relationships across the globe. In the days to come, we hope that Qatari and European SMEs will develop strong professional bonds, invest in each other’s businesses and markets as well as add great value to one another’s quality of work.”

Head of Export Development & Consortium Coordinator, EEN-Qatar, Hajar Al-Hajri said: "Our membership is the start of a new dynamic for economic development. With the launch of our Network Business Cooperation Centre, we aim to improve the business climate between SMEs across the EU and Qatar."

Executive Director of Export Development & Promotion Agency – Tasdeer, QDB, Hassan Khalifa Al-Mansoori said: “Tasdeer’s admission to the EEN serves as a gateway for access to a market with the world’s leading business and innovation support organizations as well as over 500 million direct consumers. Through our organization’s – and more broadly, our nation’s – newly acquired membership in EEN, we aspire to advance business-to-business cooperation, partner with Europe’s leading research organizations in the interest of mutual benefit and exchange information that will improve the professional capabilities of young business entities to gain a stronger competitive footing in markets dominated by more established players.”

For its part, the scope and breadth of Tasdeer was recognized on the international stage last year when International Trade Center (ITC), a joint agency of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), nominated QDB for the 2016 Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Award, under the category of the best development agency in a developing country. Incidentally, QDB was the sole development agency shortlisted from amongst the countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Other nominated development agencies, under the same category, included those from the following countries: Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Jamaica and South Korea.