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Aisha Alfardan, Vice Chairwoman, Qatari Businesswomen Association, addressing the opening session of the third Qatar International Businesswomen Forum at St Regis Hotel yesterday. Also seen are (from left) : H E Yousuf Hussein Kamal, Minister of Economy and Finance, Barton Cahir and Wael Sawan. Shaival Dalal
DOHA: Qatar’s short-term vision is to enhance at least 30 percent of Qatari women population to the leadership positions of key sectors in the society, said H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, in an opening message to the third Qatar International Businesswomen Forum which began here yesterday.
Reading out the prime minister’s speech at the inaugural session of the two-day event, H E Yousuf Hussein Kamal, Minister of Economy and Finance, said the Women Leadership Programme envisaged under Qatar National development Strategy 2011-2016 seeks to foster professionalism in Qatari women and place them at the key positions in various strata of the society, “Qatar’s huge economic growth provides greater opportunities for the growth of businesswomen. The country is committed to ensure the continuous participation of Qatari businesswomen through various initiatives including SMEs,” he said.
The third edition of the Qatar International Businesswomen Forum comes at a critical time with the growing concerns about the global economy’s ability to recover from the financial crisis. Women are the first to bear the brunt of economic problems. This underscores the empowerment of women population.
Yousuf Hussein added that Qatar’s labour force consists of 53.5 percent of females. The Ministry of Economy and Finance has higher number of female workforce than the male-55 percent. The two-day forum has got a line-up of high-caliber speakers, reflecting the importance of the event which has built on the successes of the preceding Forums in 2010 and 2011. In addition to the keynote speakers, VIP attendees and distinguished businesswomen and businessmen, more than 800 delegates are taking part in QIBF 2012.
At the opening session of the inaugural day, delegates heard the thoughts of Raed Chehaib, the Chief Executive Officer of event organisers Interactive Business Network – Qatar; Aisha Al Fardan, Vice Chairwoman of the Qatari Businesswomen Association; Wael Sawan, Executive Vice President and Country Chairman for Shell in Qatar; Barton Cahir, President, Exxon Mobil – Qatar.
This was followed by Reem Badran, Member of Parliament, Second Vice Chairman, Amman Chamber of Commerce – Jordan; Dr Saad Al Barrak, Chairman, ILA Group – Kuwait; Fatima Al Jaber, Chairman of the Emirates Businesswomen Council – UAE; and Dr Hayat Nazar, Director of the Al Noor Institute – Qatar.