Posted on December 11, 2017

The Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) at Qatar University College of Business and Economics (QU-CBE) hosted its first annual conference on “Fiscal Policy and Economic Development - Fiscal Sustainability and Diversifying of Government Revenues” on December 11-12.

Organized in collaboration with Qatar Financial Center (QFC) Authority, the event drew the participation of a large number of international economists and tax experts and professionals. It aimed to discuss the importance of diversifying government revenues, the appropriate design of VAT law and the current situation of tax compliance in Qatar. It also aimed to identify the importance of restructuring the tax system in Qatar, to assess the current situation of tax administration and the challenges to manage VAT, and to raise community awareness about the new government policies, as well as to encourage research in the area of fiscal policy.

QU-CBE hosts first 1 [].jpgAttendees included QU President Dr Hassan Al Derham, QFC Authority CEO Mr Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CBE Dean Dr Khalid Shams M A Al-Abdulqader, and CFE Director Dr Mahmoud Abdellatif, as well as CBE faculty, staff and students.

Keynote speakers were Mr Mario Mansour (International Monetary Fund), Prof Rick Krever (University of Western Australia), Mr Michael Evans (University of Melbourne), Prof Jeyapalan Kasipillai (Monash University), and Prof Binh Tran-nam (University of New South Wales). They discussed issues related to the way to diversify government revenues and the need of tax reform, drafting challenges of VAT law, how does tax administration successfully manage VAT, and how to improve tax compliance.

The event’s program featured four panel discussions titled “Tax policy and tax reform in developing countries and Qatar”, “Determinants for drafting value added tax (VAT) law in Qatar”, “Tax administration in GCC countries and the challenges to manage VAT”, and “How to develop a tax compliance culture in Qatar”. It also included a roundtable discussion on VAT and banking transactions.

In his remarks, Dr Hassan Al Derham said: “QU is committed to fulfill the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030. This is reflected through its new strategy (2018-2022) which includes numerous pillars such as driving education and research excellence and improving quality and social engagement while addressing socio-economic needs, generating general policies that address the main challenges faced by the government and society, playing a crucial role in the development of national human capital towards an innovation-based economy, and improving work efficiency while achieving financial independence. To achieve these objectives, a number of cross-strategies have been implemented covering many areas such as education, research, social engagement, entrepreneurship and institutional efficiency.”

QU-CBE hosts first 2 [].jpgHe added: “This event highlights QU’s role to enhance social engagement in solving socio-economic issues that impact the government and society. In this context, the College of Business and Economics offers many applicable research outcomes and local and international events that provide relevant recommendations for decision makers.”  

Mr Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida said: “I would like to thank Qatar University for hosting this important conference, which focuses on the economic development of Qatar and strategies that are needed to ensure we continue to prosper. Now more than ever, it is important that we push forward on our ambitions to diversify our economy, continue to expand our economic and trade relations and look for new ways to source revenue for our economy. Reforms such as VAT will help generate revenue and move us away from being an oil dependent economy.”

He added: “QFC continues to attract FDI and providing a competitive platform for businesses to expand to Qatar. We will continue to support the development and diversification of Qatar’s economy, broadening our platform to cater to the needs of the country, and reaffirm our economic attractiveness as a nation.”

Dr Khalid Shams M A Al-Abdulqader said: “The fluctuations in oil and gas prices and global financial markets require the establishment and implementation of a financial policy covering government costs and revenues, as well as the diversification of government revenues in order to maintain the level of costs and ensure the provision of public services to the current and future generations. We look forward to submitting the recommendations that will emanate from this event’s discussions to the Ministry of Finance and to using them to generate policies to build the country’s economy.”