18 Dec 2017 - 14:02
Qatar challenges siege with year full of achievements & successes
While reviewing the domestic and international achievements accomplished by Qatar on occasion of National Day, it becomes evident that the State of Qatar is moving ahead in its march with determination towards its noble goals at all levels and in all sectors internally and externally in order to fulfill its promises, principles and values.
Qatar embraces its National Day anniversary on December 18, which marks the memory of the founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani, in pride, honor and raised flags, especially as it faces an unjust siege imposed on it.
At the foreign relations’ front, the Qatari policy had great success and the visits abroad of the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Africa, Asia and Europe had huge impact on enhancing the status of the State of Qatar at the international and regional levels, in addition to promoting friendship ties with all world countries.
Since Qatar has a known and documented record in the fight against terrorism, it has acceded to international and regional treaties in this regard, notably the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism of 1999.
The speech of Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in mid-September summarised Qatar’s pivotal and vital role in fighting the scourge of terrorism and the restoration of international peace and security.
In his speech, H H the Emir made an important initiative which is the need to impose dialogue and negotiation as a basis for resolving disputes through concluding an international convention on settling disputes between States by peaceful means.
Despite Qatar’s preoccupation with its cause and the world’s preoccupation with its repercussions, Qatar remained active with regard to the issues of its Islamic and Arab nation as His Highness also shed light, in a speech delivered before a UN meeting, on the crisis of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, the Palestinian cause and Israel’s evasion of its commitments at the top of which is the principle of a two-state solution, and the situation in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen.
Qatar has managed to open new air routes to face the air siege and launched several agreements to open shipping lines with many Arab and international ports, which enabled the country to manage the crisis and efficiently face the siege.
A few days into the unjust siege, supreme directives were issued by the wise leadership to take the necessary steps to support the industrial sector and move fast towards self-sufficiency.
The results of the supreme directives were almost immediate, with more than 35 factories starting production since the siege began, while many existing factories doubled their production capacity. More than 60 new factories were also approved.
In the field of energy, Emir H H Sheikh Tamim inaugurated on February 20 Laffan Refinery 2, while Qatar Petroleum established a company to manage and market its future global portfolio of liquefied natural gas (LNG) sourced outside of Qatar.
At the end of July, Qatar announced the first production of Al Shaheen Oil Field, the largest offshore oil field in Qatar and one of the largest offshore oil fields in the world.
At the level of maritime navigation, the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani patronised the official opening of Hamad Port in September in Umm Al Houl. Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar) has launched five direct shipping lines between Hamad Port and the ports of Sohar and Salalah in Omani, Shuwaikh Port in Kuwait, Izmir Port in Turkey and Nhava Sheva Port in India.
The World Trade Organization placed the State of Qatar among the top 20 countries in the services sector of global competitiveness index as this sector is an emerging sector that contributes to the success of other sectors and is the backbone of the economy.
Qatar occupied top rank in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2017, ranking 8th in the economic performance, 11th in the government efficiency and 12 in terms of efficiency of the business sector. It was also ranked 17th out of 63 countries, mostly developed countries.
The Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum confirmed that the Qatari capital market is the best and most important financial market in the Arab region and one of the top ten financial markets in the world in many indicators related to measuring the performance of the capital market.
The Qatari market ranked first in the Arab world and 10th in the world, while the Qatari capital market also ranked first in the Arab world and the ninth of the world’s 137 financial markets in the securities legislation index. Meanwhile, Qatar ranked among the world’s lowest countries in terms of crime rates this year. For the ninth year in a row, Qatar topped the list of the Middle East and North Africa countries in the World Peace Index and ranked 30th among the 163 countries surveyed by the London Institute for Economics and Peace, maintaining its first ranking in the Middle East and North Africa during the past years (2009-2017).
Hamad International Airport was ranked the sixth best airport in the world to climb four places compared to last year. The airport has also been awarded the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ award for the third consecutive year and the ‘Best Employee Service in the Middle East’ for the second year in a row.
Qatar Airways also won the Airline of the Year award at the 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards for the fourth time.
As part of Qatar’s keenness under the wise leadership of Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Commander-in-Chief of the Qatari Armed Forces, for the continuous development of all branches of the Armed Forces, this year witnessed the signing of several military cooperation agreements with most of the developed countries in weapon technology and training fields.
In terms of the legislation released this year, Qatar’s efforts to amend some of the provisions of the Free Zones Law meant to strengthen the economic capacity of the state, attract and encourage domestic and foreign investments, and create a sophisticated investment environment that stimulates economic activities.