All ministries urged to buy local goods, says minister May 03, 2018 0 2370 12345 Asif Iqbal DohaTo encourage local firms to produce more and reduce the country's dependence on imports, all ministries and government entities have been advised to purchase local products, Minister of Economy and Commerce HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed al Thani has said."The government is taking all the necessary steps to encourage local firms to step up production. All the ministries and government bodies have been advised to increase the percentage of their purchase of local products from 30 percent to 100 percent if the locally-made goods meet the required standards," Sheikh Ahmed said while addressing a Qatar Development Bank (QDB) event recently.The minister pointed out that the government is taking necessary measures to support local entrepreneurs and spur investments. "The country is keen on introducing legislations governing the business environment and is paying great attention to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)," Sheikh Ahmed said.Calling upon the SMEs to seize the promising investment opportunities available in the country, Sheikh Ahmed said the small and medium enterprises should establish innovative projects that serve the nations economic diversification plans.Qatar has outlined plans to help economic diversification in partnership with the private sector by creating competitive business environment that attracts investments."In addition to adopting policies that foster partnership between the public and private sectors, the government encourages the SMEs to invest in non-oil sectors," Sheikh Ahmed added. The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has sought to develop mechanisms for the protection of intellectual property rights to encourage entrepreneurs to establish new and innovative projects, he said.The ministry has also provided e-services to facilitate the patent registration and issue Certificate of Deposit and Preservation of Rights for Copyright, he added.Sheikh Ahmed said the ministry has also been keen on encouraging entrepreneurs to launch projects through initiatives such as granting licences to carry out business activities at home, regulate the work of street vendors, as well as offering several investment opportunities in education, health, tourism and sports sectors. He said recently 12 investment opportunities for licensing vendor vehicles were offered.Sheikh Ahmed said the economic diversification efforts of the government is showing encouraging results and this is evident from the fact that the contribution of the non-oil sector to GDP accounted for about 52 percent in 2017. "This balanced economic performance has also contributed to enhancing the confidence of the business community in our national economy at both the local and global levels," he added.