In a ceremony attended by HE Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications of the State of Qatar, The Business Year presented an award to recognize Hamad Port as “Economic Diversification Project of the Year”. The ceremony was also attended by Capt. Abdullah Al-Khanji, CEO of Mwani Qatar and Eng. Nabil AlKhaldi, Executive Director of Hamad Port Project.
“Hamad Port’s strong capabilities, modern facilities, and advanced systems are leading its position as the gateway to Qatar and a transshipment and a re-export hub in the region, increasing the volume of trade between Qatar and the rest of the world. Last year, Hamad Port achieved a record container volume for the fourth straight year in a row with transshipment volumes rising by 106%. The increase in transshipments is an important sign of the port’s role in the region. Multiple container terminals at Hamad Port have been planned to facilitate the expansion of container handling capacity, commensurate with the growing traffic of cargo demand,” stated the Minister.
During the event held at the Ministry, Nataly Almanza, Country Director of The Business Year, referred to the reasons behind this recognition: “We at The Business Year have been first-hand witnesses to the development of this project since our arrival in the country. 2021 will be the year in which Hamad Port becomes operational at full capacity; the delay caused by 2020 has been minimum. Container Terminal 2’s inauguration is the big milestone of the year that we are all expecting to occur. Phase II of Hamad Port will be a great improvement and the final stage of a 10-year trip, but, at the same time, will only be the beginning.”
According to WTO, economic diversification happens when factors of production are moved within and across different sectors towards higher productivity uses, which is directly linked to structural transformation and trade diversification. In the case of Hamad Port, this comes in the form of the efficient management of goods and services transportation, the focus on export growth, FDI attraction and on increasing the range of goods and services exported. The Umm Al-Houl Special Economic Zone, situated close to Hamad Port, is one of several Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Qatar that encourage entrepreneurship and help foster growth among small and medium-sized enterprises. Hamad Port Project has simply helped Qatar to successfully overcome the dominance of natural resources and the shackles of geography. The impact of Hamad Port Project also comes in the form of affecting the day-to-day business operations and investment decisions in Qatar by providing appropriate incentive frameworks, investment and policy reforms aimed at slashing trade costs, and effective policies to support the reallocation of some of Qatar’s resources towards new activities. This was the key to achieving Qatar’s economic independence and diversification. The Hamad Port Project is being undertaken to attract trade and industrialization to diversify the economy in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. The services and facilities at Hamad Port have encouraged shipping lines to call their mainline services to Hamad Port directly.
The Hamad Port is currently handling more than 24 direct services of all the major global shipping lines every week. These direct mainline services have opened various new trade routes and opportunities to bolster the growth of trade and industry in Qatar. Hamad Port is instrumental in the efficient shipping of products that companies handle for clients.
The commencing of CT2 is another milestone added to Hamad Port’s record of achievements. The additional 624 meters of quayside with 380,000 sqm of storage facilities, remote-controlled quay cranes, and environmentally friendly RTGs and tractors have boosted CT2’s huge potential, modern facilities, and advanced systems for increasing Qatar’s trade with the world. The development of CT2 is to ensure the sustainable growth of local trade and to improve the port’s competitiveness by transforming it into a regional transshipment hub.
With a team of researchers on the ground, The Business Year has witnessed closely the transformation of Qatar into a more diverse and resilient economy since the advent of Qatar National Vision 2030 and fully recognizes the importance of Hamad Port for the realization of the country’s lofty 2030 goals. With the impact of COVID-19 disrupting international supply chains and the logistics sector, recovery will be predicated on the success of institutions such as Hamad Port, which can guarantee an efficient, technology-enhanced, and safe exchange of supplies with the rest of the world.
This and other milestones will be included in The Business Year: Qatar 2021, the latest annual publication on the Gulf economy, which is yet to be published. The publication will include a wide range of interviews with high-level corporate and public-sector figures, as well as feature articles and analysis on topics such as private sector participation through the new PPP scheme, digitalization of the economy, and Qatar’s strong response to COVID19.