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Qatar stays committed to support SMEs, innovations

Qatar's Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari emphasizes the country's commitment to supporting SMEs and promoting innovation. (QNA)
  • The Qatari economy maintained positive growth rates during 2022, recording over 4 percent growth during the second and third quarters, says the country's finance minister
  • Speaking at the third edition of the SME Excellence Awards 2022, Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari also points out that SMEs are an important component of the Qatari private sector

Doha — Qatar’s Minister of Finance and Chairman of Qatar Development Bank (QDB) Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari emphasized the country’s unwavering commitment to supporting the private sector and elevating the entrepreneurial ecosystem to competitive heights across multiple industries.

Al Kuwari highlighted the state’s role in enhancing the competitiveness of Qatari products, supporting exports by accessing global markets, enabling the digital transformation of emerging firms, and exploring sustainability and green transformation opportunities.

Speaking at the SME Excellence Awards 2022 ceremony, the minister stated that the State of Qatar is pursuing this successful path with greater responsibility than ever before, underscoring how state-level initiatives have had a positive impact on economic indicators. The Qatari economy maintained positive growth rates during 2022, recording over 4 percent growth during the second and third quarters, thanks to non-oil sectors such as transport and trade, as well as manufacturing and operational industries.

Al Kuwari emphasized that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are a crucial part of Qatar’s private sector, constituting over 90 percent of private sector establishments and being a significant source of employment. In addition, he noted their role in promoting innovation and creativity in business activities. The state has presented various initiatives and programs for this category, including QDB’s initiatives in collaboration with concerned authorities, which have helped improve the growth prospects of these enterprises.

The minister added that these programs address fundamental company needs such as financing access, market access, education, training, incubation services, as well as continuously developing the business environment while addressing the various challenges facing SMEs.

Al Kuwari also mentioned how the achievements of Qatari SMEs have been recognized in a number of international reports, including the report of the Global Monitor of Entrepreneurship 2021-2022, where Qatar ranked 14th globally in the field of early-stage entrepreneurial activity and first in the pioneering activity of employees. The State of Qatar also ranked second in the Middle East and ninth globally in the local entrepreneurship environment index.

The minister further noted how the male and female entrepreneurs in the fifty companies honored at the ceremony set an example of excellence and efficiency in their respective sectors by utilizing international tools and standards, ranging from digital transformation to operational excellence and environmental preservation. Al Kuwari expressed his pride in the bank’s partners from small and medium enterprises who contributed to the exceptional achievement recorded by the State of Qatar in hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which impressed the world.

The Qatar Development Bank honored 50 small and medium companies during the third edition of SME Excellence Awards 2022, which presented sustainable business models and made positive contributions to Qatar’s national economy. This list aims to provide a platform for small and medium-sized companies to showcase their successes, honor the highest performers among them, create a motivating atmosphere within the business community in the State of Qatar, and create a culture that adopts best practices and excellence in business.

A total of 310 companies applied for the award, representing 13 industrial and service sectors. These companies underwent an independent, accredited evaluation to determine the best among them. This evaluation includes several criteria, including financial performance, sustainability, innovation, and other criteria. The sectors of the award-winning companies for this year varied between information technology, manufacturing, marketing, electronics, health care, education and other services, trade, navigation and transportation sectors, as well as fashion and design.