QDB and ITC step up joint support for MSMEs
(7/11/2018 7:15:00 AM)
The Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) yesterday announced that they are scaling up their collaboration. As part of a new cooperation agreement QDB will provide $1m to ITC towards the development and competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Qatar.
The two organisations will work jointly to diversify the exports of Qatari enterprises and improve the visibility of Qatari non-oil and non-gas sectors. A Letter of Declaration was signed by Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of QDB, and ITC Executive Director Arancha González on the sidelines of ITC’s annual Joint Advisory Group (JAG) meeting in Geneva.
Announcing the launch of the project, Al Khalifa, said: “We know Qatari enterprises have the skills to compete in regional and international markets. This project supports QDB efforts to improve the national trade enabling environment as well as enterprise export competitiveness.”
González said: “This partnership with QDB will allow us to jointly address challenges faced by Qatari enterprises and help them diversify and scale up exports. This include empowering MSMEs to access and benefit from trade and market intelligence, provide the right skills to succeed in e-commerce and work towards establishing a barcode standard in Qatar.” In addition to supporting Qatari businesses to diversify out of the hydrocarbon sector, the funding will also provide support for the Global Trade Helpdesk, an initiative launched by ITC, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The focus will be on sustaining the quality and transparency of trade-related information, strengthening public-private dialogue and transforming this data into intelligence.
Stepping up its support for Qatari MSMEs, the project will work to better integrate them into the global business-to-business e-commerce markets. One focus would be through establishing a barcode standard in Qatar that will encourage companies to produce goods conforming to international market standards. This will ease access to new national, regional and international markets and improve product safety by ensuring better traceability along the global supply chain.
The renewed partnership between QDB and ITC has been designed along the lines of the Qatar National Vision 2030, which puts diversification of the economy as a priority objective. In addition to providing support to Qatar in realizing its development objectives, the partners are committed to explore further opportunities for future collaboration, in Qatar and elsewhere in the region.
The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.