BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB
DOHA: Qatar Chamber (QC), as part of its efforts to provide impetus to small and medium-sized businesses, is set to hold a conference annually to bring the best SMEs from around the world to help local industries diversify, said QC’s Director General Remy Rowhani.
QC, the representative body of the private sector, and the host of the upcoming ICC WCF 8th World Chambers Congress and Exhibition, is also committed to promoting “free trade” and utilising the “untapped reservoir of energy and power latent in women” by empowering their status and increasing their role in the process of nation-building.
“I am a strong believer of a philosophy that there are two pillars on which the chamber is based on. One is ‘free-trade’ which is considered as an engine of economic growth to move an economy to prosperity, and the other is the ‘empowerment of women’. We at QC are taking these two pillars as a source of encouragement,” he said in an exclusive interview to The Peninsula yesterday.
Highlighting the role of women in transforming a country into a well-developed society, he added: “I believe that women are the largest ever reservoir of human capability that has not been taped. A society that uses this energy and power latent in women can empower them. It will not only give women their rights, privileges and opportunities, it will also help the economy to progress by leaps and bounds.”
Asked to comment about the legacies of the mega-event and post-congress activities of QC for SMEs, he added: “Very soon we are going to establish a country-focussed annual conference where we will be bringing varied experiences of small and medium-sized businesses from various countries. One year we will be focusing on Germany to bring the experience of German SMEs to Qatar. Another year we will be focusing on Italy, the US and others which will not only benefit Qatar but the entire GCC region.”
Preparations for hosting the four-day mega-event (from April 22 to 25) are in full swing. The event is expected to bring together the global community of over 12,000 chambers, a large number of business leaders, hundreds of eminent speakers and multinational businesses including SMEs, to share experiences, exchange insights, develop networks and address the latest business issues for the first time in the Middle East.
For the 2013 Congress, the QC, together with International Chambers of Commerce (ICC), has launched a global initiative of ICC Business World Trade Agenda named “Beyond Doha” with an aim to end the 11-year- old deadlock in the trade talks (Doha Round, 2001) and the world together to shape a new trade agreement for the 21st century.
“We cannot allow the name ‘Doha’ that is attached to this round to be associated with failure. So we have called it ‘World Trade Agenda’ which should lead to ‘Doha Victory’,” added Rowhani.
He continued: “As a chamber and as a country, we may be small; we work locally but we think globally. That is our approach. Our charter as a chamber is His Highness’s National Vision 2030. Our vision is big — a benchmark chamber for the rest of the world. Our mission is to move the world. And our strategies are laid out and we are working on them.”
The congress with a theme ‘opportunities for all’ is aiming to converge world leaders at a single platform where the investment opportunities are expected to work in a two-way traffic where business leaders will have opportunities for investment and at the same time they will have the chance to attract investments to their countries.