In 2014, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce made great achievements and stepped up its efforts to enhance consumer protection, curb commercial counterfeiting, ensure competitiveness protection and prevent monopolistic practices. It also continued the implementation of economic policies and programs aimed at fulfilling national development, encouraging investment and reviving economy.
One of its key achievements in 2014 was the launch of Al Furjan (residential districts) Markets' project, a partnership between the Economy Ministry and the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, the Ministry of Finance, Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Qatar Development Bank.
The launch of the Al Furjan Markets' project comes within the ministry's package of initiatives geared to support competitiveness and growth of the commercial sector in Qatar. The 44 markets project seeks to provide basic needs and services, to promote the growth of the commercial sector, to contribute effectively to the economic growth in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, and to create an economic and sustainable environment.
In food security, the Ministry completed the first stage of Qatar food security project and prepared a study on the demand for grocery stores in Qatar and proposed a model for markets.
On the occasion of Eid Al Adha this year, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce took another initiative in cooperation with Widam (Qatar Meat and Livestock Company) to ensure availability of livestock in the market and curb increase of prices during Eid Al Adha.
In its attempts to control and inspect markets, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce’s Commercial Fraud Combat and Quantitative Licenses and Market Control Sections organized numerous inspection campaigns. This was an implementation of Law No (8) of 2008 with respect to consumer protection and Law No (12) of 1972 with respect to prescribed pricing and profit calculation.
Over the year, inspectors conducted 49,141 raids, issued 2,976 violations were found, and withdrew 16,686 samples for testing in cooperation with various competent bodies.
The consumer protection section conducted campaigns on the various commercial and service outlets in collaboration with various companies and agencies concerned in order to protect trademarks.
The Economy Ministry also participated in the five-day ‘Shaheen’ operation organized by the Ministry of Interior in cooperation with Interpol to raid the places that stored illicit and fake goods and counterfeit products that violated intellectual property rights.
The operation, which covered shops, stores, warehouses in various parts of the state, seized electric items such as lights, electric welding ribbons, fuses and a large number of counterfeit audio and video products, auto parts, expired food stuff items and non-standard building materials, as well as some computers, printers and mobile phones.
Among the accomplishments was a study on the reality of competition in automobile aftersales market by exploring and analyzing the terms of warranty contracts and their role in the reduction of competition in the aftersales service market, in addition to the terms of approving independent workshops and the position of car dealerships on this issue.
The Ministry also studied the market structure and the competitive position of the automobile agencies, conducted a follow-up on modern retail market, studied supplier contracts with retailers, and continued to collect data on the market.
It held meetings with officials of insurance companies to study the reality of competition in the motor insurance market and the legality of the conditions included insurance contracts. Moreover, it explored the shortage of domestic gas cylinder supply in the local market and discussed the matter with Qatar Fuel (Woqod) in order to ensure continued supply.
The ministry also collected data on the production of local companies from dairy and poultry meat to identify key obstacles that prevent the development of national production of these products.
It held a training program for consumer protection personnel and law enforcement officers on the provisions and applications of competitiveness protection law and the prevention of monopolistic practices.