ICC Qatar to set up two key commissions this year
20 Apr 2017 - 1:01
By Sachin Kumar / The Peninsula
The International Chamber of Commerce Qatar (ICC Qatar) is planning to set up two commissions in Qatar this year. The first will be Digital Economy Commission while the second will be Trade and Investment Commission, said a senior official of ICC, yesterday.
This will increase the number of commissions to five as ICC Qatar has commissions on banking, arbitration and energy and environment.
“The Digital Economy Commission will be focusing on e-commerce. It will look at cyber security, on how to protect against hacking and how to protect information and payments. What we try to do is to bring practical help and support to the companies who are confronted with these problems,” said Philip Kucharski, Chief Operating Officer of International Chamber of Commerce talking at the press conference held at Qatar Chamber headquarters.
“The Trade and Investment Commission will focus more on policy and on areas where it can help government. This commission will be the one to help to advise companies and government in best way to promoting trade. It will be a policy driven commission and will encourage investments,” explained Kucharski. Setting up of these commissions will be big boost for small firms as they will putting extra efforts on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“Most of the jobs in the world are created by the SMEs. And there are often these companies that do not have lawyers, tax experts and access to any specialist, but they r the most dynamic creator of jobs and wealth in the world. We will be concentrating on SMEs,” said Kucharski.
The members of these local commissions will also participate in global commissions of ICC. The organization has different commissions at global level apart from local commissions in different countries.
“We need the voice of Qatar, so we need some local business leaders and specialist to help us to activate the commission,” he added.
ICC, which is a network of 6.5 million companies, has seen a gradual growth in membership in Qatar. “For ICC to be effective as a global organisation we need to have strong local partners. So without ICC Qatar, we cannot be ICC in Qatar,” he added.
Talking about the implementation if Value Added Tax (VAT) in the region and Qatar, he said new tax will not have any significant impact on the inflation.
“Impact of VAT on inflation will depend on how the tax is passed on to the consumers. A 5 percent tax will have minimal impact (on inflation). I think it is more of a cultural change for the reason. VAT is normal across the world. VAT or sales tax is a usual part of revenue for most of the countries. A 5 percent VAT is reasonable,” he said.