Posted on February 21, 2011

Qatar yesterday took a major step to bolster its economic diversification drive and decided to set up a nodal agency that would be tasked with encouraging, helping in funding and monitoring small and medium enterprises.

The idea is to help improve the contribution of small and medium enterprises to thenational economy.

The proposed agency which will be autonomous, is to have annual budgets and will be reporting to the Supreme Council for Economic and Investment Affairs.

Its main mission is to frame an extensive national strategy to develop small and medium enterprises in close coordination with other state organs and this strategy would be directly linked to the overall national development strategy.

The proposed body would have a board to be headed by a chairman and the tenure of the directors (members of the board) numbering five to 11 is to be three years. The term will be renewable.

The Emir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani on the recommendations of the chairman, will directly appoint the CEO of the proposed agency which will have extensive powers to achieve its goals.

The agency would be expected to conduct studies and research and mull ways to get the necessary financing for a viable small and medium venture.

This way, the manufacturing sector’s growth would be accelerated and its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) would increase.

The agency would thus actively coordinate with the Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and other financial service providers to financially back small and medium projects.

The said body would have the right to set up branches in the country as well as overseas and will be expected to provide all kinds of technical and other support needed by the SMEs.

The Emir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani yesterday issued an Emiri Decision (Number 17 of 2011) ordering the establishment of the said agency.

The decree becomes effective immediately and is to be published in the official gazette, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported yesterday.

The agency shall have the right to appoint temporary or permanent sub-committees to carry out its duties and shall be required to meet every three months or whenever it shall deem fit.

source: The Peninsula