AMWAL vice-chairperson and managing director Sheikha Hanadi bint Nasser bin Khaled al-Thani has said the private sector is a key component in national development.
“The private sector must grow and actively support the national economy,” she said at a session on “Economic transition – from welfare state of globalisation economics” at the seventh Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade at Ritz-Carlton yesterday.
Sheikha Hanadi said since the Arab region needed to create a lot of jobs in the next few years for tackling growing unemployment, the private sector would have to play a key role. An estimated 100mn jobs will have to be created in the region by 2020, which may require an investment in excess of $2tn.
The empowerment of women was another key issue, Sheikha Hanadi pointed out.
“Women must not be kept away from the mainstream. They must be encouraged to take up jobs and participate in economic development,” she said.
Sheikha Hanadi said Qatar had a long-term vision for job creation and empowerment of women. The thrust on vocational education and setting up of world scale educational institutions in Qatar are cases in point.
Dr Ali Aissaoui, head of research at Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (Saudi Arabia), said the MENA region’s dependence on oil and gas sectors needed to come down. Diversification of economy away from oil and gas is essential for further job creation.