Qatar knows a lot about collaboration and is a living example of collaboration and interdependence in action, said Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar al-Baker.
Without a highly developed willingness and ability to form collaborative bonds with nations across the world, the country would not be in the “secure and enviable” position that it is in today, al-Baker said in his special address on the opening day of the International Products Exhibition and Conference here.
The incredible amount of infrastructure activity that has been a feature of life in Qatar for the past two decades or more continues through the collaborative commercial exchange of opportunities, al-Baker said.
“The great majority of the skilled personnel engaged here undertaking this development is provided by resident expatriates from hundreds of nations throughout the world.
To quote from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Qatar remained a regional leader in terms of economic expansion in 2017.
Qatar’s economy is forecast to expand by 3.1% in 2018, as per the latest IMF estimates, released in October 2017.
“This is higher than growth estimates for the Middle East as a whole,” al-Baker noted.
Qatar also plans to award contracts worth $29bn to the private sector in order to encourage diversification, and focus on supporting food security projects, small and medium enterprises, and the development of infrastructure in economic zones and free trade zones.
In order to boost foreign investment, Qatar has recently outlined a new draft law allowing foreign investors 100% ownership in most sectors of the economy. This will position the country as a leading economic power in the region.
“Never before has Qatar been such a favourable place to invest; had so many international visitors, or investment by international partners; … and never before has Qatar Airways experienced such explosive growth in the number of destinations that we serve, our fleet size, aircraft on order, and the number of coveted awards that we continue to receive,” al-Baker said.
“When the illegal blockade happened without warning or reason, we were able to reach out to friends and neighbours in the region whom we were already collaborating with, to deepen our trade activities.
“From the circumstances that the perpetrators of the blockade had hoped would be our ‘darkest hour’, came the best opportunity in our nation’s history to demonstrate our resolve, ingenuity, business acumen, and our depth of character.”
He said, “The materials that are used are supplied from manufacturers across the globe. Qatar is a living example of collaboration and interdependence in action.
“Our national airline, Qatar Airways prospers through the collaborative efforts of staff from more than 160 nations. It is an illustration of what is being achieved in the State of Qatar – its tremendous economic growth, physical expansion, and people from all over the world looking at us and liking what they see.”
Immediately following the blockade, the Qatar Airways Cargo fleet was mobilised overnight and supported by extra leased aircraft that were supplied by the airline’s commercial partners, to undertake a massive airlift of food, consumables, commercial and medical supplies, building materials, and machinery.
Qatar Airways Cargo airlifted every conceivable item into Qatar and through its world-class warehousing and distribution facilities, he said.
“Through the foresight and wise leadership of His Highness, The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar never experienced any shortage, and I am proud of my airline’s ability to deliver the performance required in that hour of need,” al-Baker said.
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