Oil price slump not to hit private sector budgets

 11 Jan 2016 - 3:07

Oil price slump not to hit private sector budgets
QBA Chairman Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani inaugurating QBX Expo 2016 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre yesterday. Pic: Salim M/The Peninsula

By Mohammad Shoeb 

DOHA: The Qatari market is full of business and investment opportunities, and there are no major cuts in the budget of private companies in Qatar due to tumbling oil prices, said the Chairman of the elite Qatari Businessmen’s Association (QBA) here yesterday.
Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, the QBA Chairman, also reiterated that there is no major impact of the dwindling energy prices as the Qatari economy is diversified and not fully dependent on hydrocarbons revenues.
Sheikh Faisal was speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the inaugural day of ‘The First International Exhibition for Support and Business Solutions in Qatar—QBX Expo 2016— at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre which will conclude tomorrow. The three-day event aims to provide support services and business solutions to a wide range of companies .
“We don’t see any changes in the budget of private sector companies in Qatar due to the lower energy prices,” said the QBA Chairman, who opened the Expo, which is expected to attract over 10,000 visitors.
He also said that the government’s diversified investment portfolios and the vibrant private sector are working together in close cooperation to face the adverse situation which is not new to Qatar.
“I don’t think Qatar will be affected that strongly due to the lower prices of oil and gas since the country has already diversified its investment and income portfolios long ago. Qatar is not 100 percent dependent on hydrocarbons revenues as the country has witnessed similar situations in the past,” he said.
He also said that the private sector businesses in Qatar are not facing any major challenges, and if there are some small issues the government is trying its level best to address those issues in an effective manner.
Citing examples, Sheikh Faisal also stressed that the government is making efforts to address the key issues related to private businesses by taking a lot of initiatives, such as by establishing Manateq (Economic Zones Company, Qatar), which is addressing the problem of basic infrastructure and plots of land in a very organised way. 
In addition, institutions like Qatar Development Bank and others, are also playing a significant role in accelerating the pace of economic diversification, he said.
Asked if the relatively higher prices of commercial space and stringent regulatory framework are impediments in attracting foreign investments and closing of some businesses, he said: “Qatari market is booming with full of business opportunities. There are a lot of successful examples of foreign companies in Qatar that have survived adverse economic situations. But there are some companies that come and go and give such excuses is not acceptable. I would suggest such companies to do proper case studies before entering into any markets.”
Khalifa bin Mohammed bin Nasser Al Attiya, Chairman of Sedeer Media, the official organiser of the QBX-Expo, said that the event is a major source of information to know all about trade and investment entities requirements in terms of distinctive solutions, support services and investment requirements in Qatar.
“The Expo is the right communication opportunity among decision-makers, executives of public and private institutions, and the representatives of the largest international companies specialised in the field of support services and business solutions. Taking advantage of the available investment opportunities which make this event the first its kind for those companies that are interested in establishing their business in the State of Qatar,” said Al Attiya.The Peninsula