Qatar Chamber will host its first conference on small- and medium-sized enterprises on Tuesday under the patronage of HE Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed Al-Thani, which is held in cooperation with Qatar Exchange and the German Emirati Council for Industry and Commerce (AHK).
The aim of the two-day conference is to "promote entrepreneurship, stimulate services for SMEs, support diversification and create employment opportunities for the national work force," said Qatar Chamber Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamed Al-Thani.
Sponsored by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) as a strategic partner and Qatar National Bank (QNB), the event aims to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge they need by linking them with relevant organizations.
"QDB plays a pivotal role in supporting the growing SME ecosystem in Qatar. Our tireless efforts in this field include the provision of top notch consultation services, feasibility studies, advisory services, the sought-after SME toolkit, workshops, market research and much more – not the least of which is the recent launch of the region's largest mixed-use business incubator," QDB Chief Executive Officer Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa said.
"I cannot overstate the importance of the first Qatar Chamber SMEs Conference, and we are absolutely thrilled to be an integral part of it. We hope the conference gets larger and accomplishes its goals year after year," he added.
For his part, QNB representative Yousef Al Neama, general manager of group corporate and institution banking, said: "As the largest bank in Qatar and one of the world's strongest banks, QNB is pleased to sponsor this SME conference, which bears in mind the welfare of our dear State of Qatar. QNB will continue to support such conferences that serve the country and its people as a truly national bank that supports the Qatar 2030 vision.
"QNB will also always be on the forefront of SME lending and support which provides the Qatari workforce with the opportunity to realize their ambitions and financial benefits of becoming an entrepreneur. This ongoing support will benefit our country for current and future generations," he added.
Qatar Exchange CEO Rashid Bin Ali Al Mansoori said it has developed QE Venture Market with the objective of supporting the growth of SMEs and positioning Qatar Exchange at the center of the government's ongoing support for this important sector.
"QE Venture Market is designed with smaller companies in mind with a more flexible disclosure and corporate governance regime. The characteristics of the market reflect the objectives of allowing SMEs to list and raise capital more easily and cheaply and with less stringent requirements than would be the case on the Main Market whilst also retaining the trust of the investor base through a structured regulatory framework," Al Mansoori said.
The peculiarity of the conference is the focus on Germany, Europe's largest economy and a global leader in enterprise and innovation.
"The backbone of Germany's economy is its highly innovative small and medium-sized enterprises sector and we believe this conference represents an opportunity to share best practice and to enable local SMEs to compete for the business opportunities Qatar has to offer by connecting them with key stakeholders," said Remy Rowhani, Qatar Chamber director general.
Meanwhile, AHK Chief Executive Officer Dr. Peter Goepfrich said SMEs constitute a major component of the German economy by quickly responding to the target market and customers. "This flexibility to change and adaptation to market trends reduces future crisis and builds on a strong economy, thus allowing it to become a significant economic pillar. Highly active in the industrial sector and a powerful supplier of capital goods in new markets all around the world, the 'German Mittelstand' can also be a strong partner for Qatar in the diversification of its economy." German Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Economy and Energy Sigmar Gabriel will join the event with a delegation of over 120 German business leaders.
Inspired by the development agenda of Qatar National Vision 2030, the conference aims to contribute to the collective efforts of the government and key organizations to boost an effective private sector able to play a central role in the development of the national economy.