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Maximizing In-Country Value: The Key To Qatar's Economic Future In line with Qatar's 2030 Vision, in-country value is an economic localization strategy that seeks to foster and retain economic activity and investment within the domestic economy, thereby minimizing expenditure on foreign goods and services.

By Ramez Al-Khayyat

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Qatar has made enormous strides in recent years towards building a diversified and resilient economy capable of delivering long-term sustainable growth and prosperity for all. Since 2008, when Qatar unveiled its 2030 Vision, the country has seen a flourishing of commercial activity across a growing range of domestic industries and sectors, from infrastructure development and financial services, to healthcare, technology, consumer goods, and more.

It is essential that Qatar continues this diversification process to move the country away from its historical dependence on domestic oil and gas revenues and on international imports of goods and services. The global economy is evolving, as consumer appetites and stakeholder expectations continue to shift. Amidst this uncertainty, geopolitical tensions persist. Only by building a vibrant, high-tech, high-skilled domestic economy will Qatar be able to fully ensure its economic security for decades to come. While progress has undoubtedly been made, there is still work to be done.

Maximizing in-country value (ICV) remains critical to the long-term development of Qatar's economy and national security. In line with Qatar's 2030 Vision, ICV is an economic localization strategy that seeks to foster and retain economic activity and investment within the domestic economy, thereby minimizing expenditure on foreign goods and services. In simple terms, ICV prompts Qatari companies to hire, buy and invest locally.

ICV is a key catalyst for Qatar's economic self-development, bringing a wide range of benefits in commercial, technological and human capital terms. Principally, ICV helps drive economic growth and diversification by boosting demand for local products and services, not least from small and medium-sized enterprises. In doing so, it delivers the additional benefits of upskilling the local population, and helping create a culture innovation and entrepreneurship within the national economy.

These benefits are also felt regionally within Qatar, helping spread economic activity in areas outside existing commercial centers such as Doha. The cascading effects of this in-country economic activity helps enhance productivity, skills and training throughout the economy and its workforce, both geographically and in terms of sectoral expertise. Indeed, as Qatar's domestic industries continue to blossom and thrive under the effects of ICV approaches, we are already seeing foreign direct investment rising.

Related: Why Nurturing Local Talent Is Key To Building A Sustainable Tech Industry In The UAE

As international capital increasingly seeks to enter the Qatari market, Qatar is able to put in place agreements with international entities around technology transfer and knowledge sharing that embeds global expertise into the Qatari economy, heightening Qatari domestic capabilities still further. A virtuous cycle ensues, fueling sustainable economic growth and human capital development towards Qatar's primary objective: a mature, technologically advanced knowledge economy.

There is no better example of how Qatar's ICV strategy has revolutionized the domestic economy than in the country's rapidly developing healthcare sector. At one of my enterprise's companies, Elegancia Healthcare, we have embraced ICV as a clear operating principle for how we do business. This approach is exemplified in our ongoing delivery of The View Hospital, Elegancia's milestone luxury healthcare development in Doha's Al Qutaifiya district. Scheduled to open in 2022, the hospital provides an important example of how ICV thinking is being made a reality in Qatar's ongoing economic growth.

At every stage of the hospital's construction, Elegancia Healthcare is partnering with key local suppliers and providers to procure core goods and services, from raw materials and machinery, to advanced clinical technology. Our recent agreement with leading radiology equipment supplier Ali bin Ali Medical is the latest demonstration of Elegancia Healthcare's commitment toward working with local in-country partners, helping promote domestic economic growth and supply chain resilience across Qatar.

Further such partnerships have been announced in recent days and weeks, including with Mannai Corporation and Khalid Scientific, to supply neonatal equipment and operating room technology respectively. Moreover, The View Hospital will itself be operated in partnership with Cedars-Sinai, the internationally renowned healthcare group based in Los Angeles, thereby exemplifying the principle of how key commercial projects can be structured to bring strategically important global expertise into the Qatari economy.

The road ahead is clear for Qatar. Prioritizing and enhancing in-country value will continue to have a galvanizing effect on Qatari economic and social development for many years to come. ICV represents Qatar's roadmap for growth, and we call on organizations across the economy to do all they can to embed it into their commercial decision making.

Related: The Need For Digitization In The GCC's Cosmetics Treatments Industry

Ramez Al-Khayyat

Group CEO and Vice Chairman, Power International Holding

Ramez Al-Khayyat is the Group CEO and Vice Chairman of Power International Holding
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