The meeting, being held on 3 December, is hosted by the Qatar Chamber, the representative body of the private sector. This is the sixth consultative meeting of Qatari businessmen with the Premier (who also holds the Interior Ministry portfolio). However, this is the first such meeting since he took over as Premier last year.
The interface began late last decade under the former Premier with the objective of the private sector presenting its problems before the government for redress. In remarks to an Arabic daily recently, chamber board member Rashid Al Athba had said that one of the problems businessmen are going to raise at the meeting is the continuing shortage of warehousing facilities in Qatar. Al Athba said that sectors such as food and pharmaceuticals were particularly suffering due to the shortage of storage facilities for these products. As a result of the shortage, prices of these commodities were going up, burdening the common man.
He said the government was building warehousing facilities to end the shortage, adding that he hoped that these facilities would meet the requirements of the different sectors.
Al Athba was upbeat on the prospects of the meeting and described the Premier as business-friendly, which would help move matters along. He said the Premier’s recent instructions to government ministries and institutions to not start new companies or expand existing ones without permission from his office showed that the government did not want the public sector to compete with private businesses.
“The idea is to give the private sector a free hand to progress and play a greater role in developing the national economy,” he said.