12 Sep 2017 - 0:00
Hamad Port to emerge as region’s leading trading hub
By Mohammad Shoeb / The Peninsula
The newly-opened Hamad Port is set to emerge as a major trading hub in the region.
The state-of-the-art port fa cility is Qatar’s largest access to the sea and is a gateway to more than 150 destinations around the world.
The world-class port will provide the country with complete independence in its import and export of goods to various continents.
With the opening of the new port the volume of Qatar’s international trade is set to witness a rapid growth in the coming years. During the partial operation of Hamad Port that lasted for less than a year the port has already made a significant achievement. It acquired 27 percent of the regional trade in the Middle East, which is a large proportion of the potential for further growth in the coming period. Saleh Hamad Al Sharqi, Director General of Qatar Chamber, noted that the new port, which is equipped with all the modern facilities and advanced systems, will help boost Qatar’s foreign trade, including the intra-regional trade within the Middle East, and also help promote the region’s trade with the rest of the world.
Al Sharqi said that the port of Hamad provides a golden opportunity for the private sector and Qatari businessmen to activate the business and promote the import and export of various commodities.
The port provides great possibilities for receiving all types and sizes of vessels, allowing Qatari traders to import and export all kinds of goods through the port.
He pointed out the vital role played by Hamad Port under current conditions, through the opening of direct shipping lines with a number of ports in Oman, Kuwait, Turkey, India and Pakistan, which contributed to the continued flow of supplies of goods needed by the domestic market without interruption.
He also pointed out that the Qatar Chamber is continuously coordinating with the Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani) to provide all facilities to Qatari companies that are engaged in the import and export of goods.
Al Sharqi also said that the Qatar Chamber is working to organise seminars and open meetings with Qatari businessmen and local traders to showcase the potential of the Hamad Port, how traders can benefit from enhancing their business dealings and linking them with different channels of import and export in different Countries, thus contributing to Qatar’s foreign trade.
Local private sector businesses also realise that the iconic Hamad Port has opened up great opportunity for them to expand and grow.
They believe that the new port will also help Qatar achieving self-sufficiency in terms of food production.
“Qatar’s private sector has a great opportunity to invest heavily in the field of food security and to achieve great successes. Thanks to the supportive environment provided by the government.
These conducive environment will encourage local businesses to contribute effectively to the growth and development of the Qatari economy”, Ahmed Al Khalaf Chairman of International Projects Development Co, the parent company of Qatar Meat, was quoted as saying by Al Sharq, yesterday.
Al Khalaf said that with the strong infrastructure, including the presence of modern ports, airports and highways, in which the State has invested billions of dollar, in addition to the abundance of cheap energy, inexpensive power supply, easy licensing policy and affordable financing, the private sector will play a significant role in the development of the local economy.
He pointed out that the unjust siege against Qatar has come as a blessing in disguise and created huge opportunities of investments in a wide range of sectors including the manufacturing and food processing industries.
He anticipated that with public-private partnership (PPP) Qatar will achieve self-sufficiency in terms of food production with the next 3-4 years.
Al Khalaf noted that the production of livestock feed, red meat, and poultry products, which covers between 15 and 30 percent of the local market demand has great potential for growth. He also said the current local egg production covers about 30 percent of demand, while dairy production covers only about 15 percent, while the local fish production covers about 70 percent of the demand.