Great strides

 03 Dec 2017 - 11:38

The Peninsula

The siege was imposed by the blockading countries on Qatar thinking that it will weaken the country. But on the contrary, Qatar has emerged stronger and is on a stronger footing and ports have played a major role in defeating the siege. 

Qatar’s ports have ensured smooth supply of goods for residents. Though the land, air and sea routes are blocked by the unjust actions, Qatar managed it very well in areas of air and maritime transport. The data released by Mwani Qatar has showed that the cargo movement on ports has been increasing consistently after June, when the siege was announced by blockading countries.  

As Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said in his address at the opening of the 46th ordinary session of the Advisory Council, “The measures taken by the blockading countries were aimed at creating a political shock, affecting Qatar’s stability and forcing us to accept tutelage and cede our independence…. But they have erred in their evaluation of the will of the Qatari people and the State, as well as in their estimates of our economy.”

Hamad Port, one of the largest and most modern ports in the Middle East, has played a great role in this endeavour in achieving this march towards self-reliance. The opening of the new port is in continuation of Qatar’s efforts in accordance with the Qatar National Vision.

Several agreements have been signed with important shipping lines to connect the port to international ports. These achievements were realised despite that the blockading countries have made relentless efforts to disrupt and obstruct them by various means.

The new Port has the potential to transform Qatar into a regional and international trade and logistics hub. This transformation will not only attract investments and enable economic growth, but will also increase the efficiency of operations for companies with core interests in maritime transportation and logistics.

As the world knows, Hamad Port continues to post strong performance. The year-on-year growth in cargo traffic has continued every month after the siege was imposed on June 5.

In July, 136 vessels harboured at the port this year compared to 105 vessels in the same month last year, showing year-on-year rise of around 30 percent. Similarly, in August, vessel movement increased by 47 percent as 162 vessels harboured compared to 110 vessels in same month last year.

The port saw a huge 44 percent year-on-year rise in cargo movement in September this year, while 120 percent rise was seen in tonnage in the same month. The port harboured 150 vessels in September this year compared to 104 vessels in same month last year.

All these show that as H H the Emir mentioned, “The negative impacts of the blockade were temporary and our economy has managed to contain most of them very quickly, while adapting and developing itself in the course of the crisis management.”