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Qatar has been announced as the host country for the 2020 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Forum, an event owned by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB).
The Forum, considered a key platform for addressing how MSMEs can be empowered as the global workplace transforms, is expected to attract over 700 delegates to Qatar. The bid to host the Forum had been led by the Faculty of Business at Qatar University (QU), in collaboration with Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC).
The announcement of Qatar as host country for 2020 was made in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations MSME Day celebrations. A delegation from QU, QNTC and Qatar Development Bank (QDB) was in attendance. The organisations, particularly QDB, had helped to demonstrate Qatar’s commitment to providing a fertile ground for small businesses to thrive.
Speaking at the MSME Day celebrations, Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO of QDB, remarked, “Growing a vibrant, prosperous and competitive private sector in Qatar begins with the success of our young entrepreneurs and SMEs. At QDB, we strive to achieve Qatar’s National Vision by seeding and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit within the Qatari community. Supporting young entrepreneurs, startups and established SMEs is at the heart of our endeavors to create a vibrant and sustainable economy that promotes social development.”
Hassan Al Ibrahim, Assistant Secretary General of QNTC, commented “In Qatar we believe that entrepreneurs are integral to building any sector. In tourism, we incorporate MSMEs into tourism products and events. It is how we ensure that visitors enjoy an experience that is both innovative and authentic, embodying the spirit of Qatar.”
He added, “As ICSB has witnessed over the past few months, that is not the only reason why Qatar is the right place for the 2020 MSME Forum. As our tourism and business events continue to develop, our leisure and business visitors are guaranteed a seamless and hospitable experience even before they travel, during their stay and until they complete their journey home.”
Professor Adam Fadlalla, Acting Dean of College of Business and Economics (CBE), said, “CBE pays special attention to developing the skills of the new generation of entrepreneurs from QU and the broader community. CBE also plays a key role in the implementation of QU’s innovation and entrepreneurship strategy 2018-2022, which focuses on promoting a culture of entrepreneurship, introducing new entrepreneurship courses, and supporting innovation through various commercialization and incubation activities. Hosting the MSME Forum aligns well with our strategy and is going to strengthen our ongoing collaboration with ICSB and promote Qatar’s research in entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide.”
The bid to host the 2020 MSME Forum was supported by QNTC as part of the organisation’s efforts to attract and deliver global business events in Qatar, thereby increasing visitor arrivals to the country and boosting related sectors such as aviation, hospitality and event organisation.
ICSB was founded in 1955 and is the oldest and largest organisation in the world promoting entrepreneurship and SME development. The UN resolution establishing 27 June as MSME Day, thereby recognising the importance of MSMEs in international, regional and local markets, was an initiative driven by ICSB.
Ayman Al Tarabishy, ICSB Executive Director, remarked, “Qatar is experiencing an extremely vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is driven by a very exciting innovative and creative mindset led by the youth and with a very strong can-do attitude. Small and Medium enterprises are leading the way with new products and services. With all this energy and global drive, ICSB is delighted to be heading to Qatar in 2020 for the World SME Forum.”
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About Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC)
Qatar National Tourism Council’s mission is to firmly establish Qatar on the global map as a place where cultural authenticity meets modernity, and where people of the world come together to experience unique offerings in culture, sports, business and family entertainment.
QNTC’s work is guided by the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy (QNTSS), which seeks to diversify the country’s tourism offering and increase the sector’s contribution to Qatar’s economy by 2030.
Since launching QNTSS, Qatar has welcomed over 12 million visitors. The economic impact of the tourism sector in Qatar is becoming increasingly visible with 2017 estimates showing a total (direct and indirect) contribution to Qatar’s GDP of 6.6%.