The International Chamber of Commerce Qatar (ICC Qatar) is all set to launch two new commissions on digital economy and trade & investment in the second half of this year, a senior official of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has said.
Addressing media persons during a roundtable meeting at the headquarters of Qatar Chamber in Doha, ICC Chief Operating Officer Philip Kucharski said both the commissions would work at the international level.
The work of the commissions would represent a comprehensive effort to assist in the development and implementation of policies and actions to ease the way of doing business in Qatar.
The two new commissions would add to the existing three already constituted by ICC Qatar, Kucharski said.
Providing specifics, Kucharski said the commission on digital economy was aimed at protecting Qatari companies from cyber frauds.
“Ensuring cyber security has become essential for companies as most of them do business online. The commission will hold workshops and training programmes to help Qatari companies, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), prepare themselves to tackle various kinds of online frauds,” he said.
The commission on trade & investment, Kucharski said, would ensure that new business ventures get adequate financial support from different sources so that they are sustainable in the long term.
Many new business ventures in Qatar find it hard to get loans from local banks, he said, adding that the trade & investment commission would find ways for such ventures to get financial support.
“SMEs are the backbone of a country’s economy. It is very important to support them. For Qatar, it is more important as the country is diversifying its economy away from the hydrocarbon sector. The commission would help establish Qatar as a hub of SMEs in the Gulf region,” he said.
Talking about the challenges facing the Middle East economies, Kucharski said, “The biggest challenge is protectionism. Many developed nations have become more protective about their economies now. This is not a good sign for the free flow of global trade. Free trade is essential for the growth of economies across the globe,” he said.
On the impact of the proposed implementation of 5 percent value added tax (VAT) in the GCC countries from next year, Kucharski said, “It is a good move to strengthen the economy. I don’t think VAT will have any negative impact on consumers.”
This post is also available in: Arabic