On potential high-yield sectors and making private-public partnerships attractive and efficient
Which sectors of Qatar’s economy hold the greatest potential for growth, and what foreign know-how are you aiming to attract?
ADEL ALI BIN ALI: Qatar has an accelerated growth record. Our country has also claimed a position as a secondary emerging market. As a result, Qatar has multiple sectors that show potential for healthy growth. To list a few, I would place tourism and hospitality, health care and medical research, sports and lifestyle, education, technology and light industries high on the list. These sectors have a lot of potential, not just for expansion but also for innovation.
As a conglomerate, the Ali Bin Ali Group is engaged in several of the above-mentioned sectors. Looking to the future, our goal is to attract expertise in light industries, as well as other technological expertise, particularly for manufacturing plants and industrial lines. Medical research is another field that we are keen on expanding.
How can investment in health care and medical research be made more attractive to the private sector?
ALI BIN ALI: The largest investors in health care are governments, so fostering partnerships between the government and private sector is something that should be looked at positively. A concerted effort can be made to improve and enhance the health infrastructure. We have seen this happen in Qatar. The country has also improved government regulations and health systems, thereby creating more space for private sector involvement. The public sector can also take the lead to improve patient pathways and develop customised patient-centric services. This too will create more opportunities to engage the private sector. These are a few things that can be done to make investment more attractive.
What measures can be implemented to further increase efficiency and eradicate bottlenecks?
ALI BIN ALI: Less bureaucracy in official departments is something that will increase efficiency. A policy to explore and establish more open and advanced investment and commercial laws will also help avoid bottlenecks. The adoption of technology to improve processes is also something that will make a very big difference.
Additionally, a smartly planned, well-built infrastructure is always a massive help to industry, especially one like fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and distribution. I expect to see a huge, positive impact brought on by the currently developing free trade zones, transport, warehousing and logistics infrastructure. The benefits for FMCG and distribution will begin almost immediately, so I expect to see a very high impact.
How concerned are you by the prospect of retail sales being impacted by rising inflation combined with a drop in purchasing power for individuals and families?
ALI BIN ALI: We have confidence that the retail market will rise again once the situation in the region improves. The current status quo affects not just the movement of good and services but also the movement of tourists and foreign businessmen. So as a positive outlook returns and stability takes root these scenarios and retail sales will improve in tandem.