Logistics Role Enabling Qatar’s MSME Sector
Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are well-recognised as the drivers of economic growth and diversity, and are at the centre of promoting equitable development. According to the World Bank, they constitute more than 90% of companies worldwide and contribute more than 50% of the global GDP.
In Qatar, they play a vital role in the overall growth of the industrial economy while helping the nation diversify and move away from reliance on fossil-fuel-centred industries and sectors. This sector is pivotal for facilitating innovation and economic growth as they lay the foundation for future companies and are responsible for employment and revenue generation. They are also more agile and responsive to change, which is essential – in a post Covid-19 period.
In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, the logistics sector plays a very important role in Qatar’s goal of diversifying its economy and reducing the country’s reliance on hydrocarbons. Qatar is already in the midst of a huge infrastructure boom, with Doha Metro now up and running, a network of new roads, expressways and free zones, in addition to Hamad Port and the massive investment in Hamad International Airport and its expansion.
All of these capital projects are yielding positive results and drawing investors from all over the world. Developing industrial and logistics parks and operating a seamless business set-up process are the next logical steps in this strategy.
Benefits for MSMEs
Apart from finding seed capital, one of the key challenges for new businesses is managing the supply chain and accompanying logistics. Without a fully-fledged logistics or industrial park, businesses are often faced with inefficient infrastructure to operate effectively and profitably. This inevitably raises the cost of running a business as the owner needs to pay numerous middlemen in order to get their product to market. In addition, start-ups may be unable to deliver their product to the consumer or face other operational challenges which make it hard to operate or conduct business. It’s a quick way to kill a promising start-up.
Reginal Growth Powerhouse
The Al Wukair Logistics Park is set up as part of GWC’s efforts to support MSMEs and enable them to thrive. This strategically positioned 1.5km² facility caters for a whole range of industries that require light industrial workshops, storage units and open yards; offering ideal platform for established companies and new market entrants. Al Wukair is one of several facilities attracting businesses to the country, along with Qatar’s commitment to offering a simple company formation process – in which GWC is able to support.
Al Wukair logistics park offers a one-stop-shop for leasing a warehouse or workshop, company formation formalities, including applications for necessary permits, and logistics operations. Start-ups who work with GWC will benefit from years of local, regional and international experience, along with a global, integrated network. GWC’s deep, hard-earned knowledge of the local market makes Al Wukair Logistics Park the ideal destination for businesses to avail of and enjoy the best logistics infrastructure that will allow them to focus on their core businesses and reap the benefits of a flourishing economy.
There is no doubt that businesses prefer locations – such as Al Wukair Logistics Park – that provide quick, efficient, high-quality and hassle-free access to different industries. One major benefit of Al Wukair is its strategic location.
“Al Wukair Logistics Park will exhibit our expertise and capabilities to offer value solutions to our clients that will positively affect their bottom line while enabling them to focus on their core business,” stated GWC Group CEO Mr. Ranjeev Menon. “The strategic location of the park between the airport and seaport, allows businesses of all sizes to operate as efficiently as possible. Al Wukair plays a critical role in supporting start-ups, helping to develop adjacent industries and in the process boosting entrepreneurship – all key, strategic goals of the State of Qatar.”
Support industries often establish their bases at industrial parks to benefit from proximity to their clients and low operating costs. For example, the furniture industry depends on the supply of various types of wood in order to manufacture goods according to the needs of their customers. This simple example highlights the importance of industries that provide ancillary support to enterprises located at light industrial parks in creating an efficient ecosystem that benefits all tenants.
Creation of industrial clusters
While the internet makes it seem as if physical locations are unnecessary, creating and maintaining a competitive advantage is dependent on clusters – either upstream or downstream – in many industries around the world. As localised clusters grow, they will attract similar or adjacent industries. This will eventually create more opportunities and consequently grow the economy.
Growth of entrepreneurship
The government of Qatar has taken many steps to promote entrepreneurship. Just one example of its commitment is the establishment of incubation centres. The mandate for incubation centres remains narrow, while the role of light industrial parks is potentially much larger. Facilities such as Al Wukair provide a strong environment for entrepreneurs who can easily access necessary resources.
Importance of a well-formed infrastructure
A well-formed infrastructure is characterised by accessibility, affordability and reliability. These powers businesses of all sizes, especially MSMEs, by enabling them to make sustainable profits, thus leading to economic development.
“Robust infrastructure makes market access easy and boosts manufacturing and trade, which subsequently leads to economic growth. With these goals in mind, GWC is proud to support the country as it gears up to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM and achieve the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and beyond. As the first regional supporter and official logistics provider for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, GWC will be there to help SMEs which are part of this milestone event to deliver their goods and services.” Added Mr. Menon.
To this end, the Al Wukair Logistics Park will play a very pivotal role, as the main distribution hub during the World Cup, in assisting MSMEs with their deliverables.
The Logistics Park will be part of GWC’s mandate to offer a broad spectrum of services ranging from end-to-end logistics services, from point of entry to point of use and highly coordinated reverse logistics, thus giving MSMEs the chance to boost their bottom line and take advantage of new business opportunities arising due to the world’s largest event, which is as much an economic event as it is a sporting event. GWC will be working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises launch their businesses in Qatar.
This World Cup will provide astute entrepreneurs the opportunity to tap in new avenues in hospitality, tourism, transportation and construction, among other sectors and a platform to innovate, strategise and grow domestically as well as in global markets.
The event will play a critical role in helping Qatar remain firmly committed to transforming the country into a leading international logistics and transportation hub and reinforcing Qatar’s vast growth potential while laying the groundwork for a sustainable and diverse economy.