Qatar Chamber is one of the oldest Chambers of Commerce in the GCC Countries. Having been established in 1963 by virtue of Law No (4) of the year 1963 dated on 16/2/1963, it used to operate within the structure of Government agencies until the promulgation of law no. (11) Of 1990 which empowered the Chamber to operate independently. This enabled the Qatar Chamber to exercise a wide range of activities commensurate with national, regional and international developments and serve the commercial, industrial and agricultural interests of its participants in the private sector.
Despite the promulgation of law no (11) of 1990, the QCCI Board Members were still appointed by the Government through an Emiri Decree. The Board Members would, in their first meeting, select a Chairman, a Vice Chairman and a Treasury Secretary. The term of office of the Board was Five years. On 8th July, 1996 Qatar witnessed, in its first democratic experience, the promulgation of law no (11) of 1996, which amended some of the provisions of law no (11) of 1990, article (13) in particular, that Board Members shall be directly elected by the QCCI General Assembly which represents the various economic sectors in Qatar.
The Minister of Finance, Economy and Trade (currently Minister of Business and Trade) shall determine the proportional representation of these sectors following consultations with the concerned Ministers. The Board>s term of office is four instead of five years. The QCCI internal regulations shall specify how elections should be held.
Accordingly, the Minister of Finance, Economy & Trade has issued resolution no (10) of 1997, amended by resolution no (83) of the year 2010, determining the sector>s proportional representation in the QCCI board as follows:
- The Trading Sector – 5 Members
- The Contracting Sector – 4 Members
- The Manufacturing Sector – 3 Members
- The Services Sector – 1 Member
- The Banking & Investment Sector – 1 Member
- The Insurance Sector – 1 Member
- The Tourism Sector – 1 Member
- The Agricultural Sector – 1 Member
- The Board Members shall, in their first meeting elect a Chairman, a Vice Chairman and an Honorary Treasurer.
The chamber’s Competences
Article four of law number (11) for 1990 AD amended by law number (11) for 1996 AD defined the Chamber’s competences as follows:
- Collect, arrange and publish information and statistics of importance to everyone working in the field of commerce, industry and agriculture; provide the government with required data, information and opinions related to commercial, industrial and agricultural issues and disclose the commercial and industrial customs.
- Express opinion – in an advisory capacity – with respect to the establishment of stock exchanges; commercial, industrial and agricultural markets and fairs as well as to the granting of franchising related to public utilities.
The Chamber shall express its opinion within a period of three months, starting on the date when the request was made. However, if the opinion is urgently requested, it shall be expressed within a period of one month; otherwise it is applicable to disregard the Chamber’s opinion.
- Provide ministries and competent authorities with proposals and opinions concerning the following matters:
- Laws and regulations relating to the commerce, industry and agriculture.
- Customs tariff
- Establishment and amendment of transportation routes, related wages and fees
- All the other issues in connection with the progress of commerce, industry and agriculture.
- Designate experts from among the commerce, industry or agriculture masters to study and consider the commercial, industrial or agricultural issues, to examine the disputed goods and to ratify the experts’ testimonies in this regard.
- Organize and establish permanent commercial, industrial and agricultural fairs, museums, souks (markets), schools and institutes as well as other facilities concerned with the industry, commerce and agriculture within the laws and regulations in force. The government shall be entitled to entrust the chamber with the management of its facilities and institutes.
- Hold economic conferences in Qatar and participate in those held abroad after obtaining a written authorization from the Minister of Finance, Economy and Trade.
- Issue certificates showing the source of goods, the nationality of exporters and the prices in addition to all certificates allowed by the Minister of Finance, Economy and Trade.
- Arbitrate in disputes referred to it according to the stakeholders’ agreement.
- Adopt data and documents of individuals and commercial companies when applying for the commercial registration, renewing or amending it.
The Chamber shall be entitled to form from among its members and any other experienced individuals it deems helpful, committees to undertake these competences and functions and shall also be entitled to form other committees for any purpose serving its own objectives and to entrust them with any competences at its discretion.
The Chamber shall also have the right to communicate with the government departments in relation to the needed data and information on the works within its competences.
- General Assembly
- Chamber’s Board of Directors
- Chairman of the Board
- Vice Chairman
- Honorary Treasurer
- Executive Office
- Chamber’s executive body