Experts discuss the future of Qatar’s tech sector
Qatar’s tech sector, which is set to grow further, offers immense opportunities for businesses, experts said during a webinar. Tasmu Digital Valley and Berlin Partner hosted a webinar titled “Back to Global – Berlin Startups Explore Opportunities in Qatar” where panelists shared their views on the future of Qatar’s tech sector and its opportunities. The experts also shared their views on how to develop Qatar’s digital ecosystem.
Addressing the event on the support QFC offers to startups interested in coming to Qatar and non-Qatari entrepreneurs, Jahongirbek Burhonov, Vice President of Business Development at QFC, said, “We have our own regulatory environment in which we base ourselves in English common law jurisdiction. and we have our own commercial jurisdiction and international dispute resolution tribunal. Thus, this whole ecosystem makes it possible to settle in Qatar and to access these opportunities.
Burhonov explained QFC’s role in the fintech industry as well as trends and opportunities. “As QFC, we work closely with Qatar Fintech Hub and cohorts come to us to settle and take advantage of opportunities in Qatar. In the financial sector, we can also see that e-commerce is growing strongly in Qatar and the use of payment is growing as we have many payment gateways, which creates an opportunity to attract business. Technology such as Blockchain is also growing.
Danny Ramadan, Chief Investment Officer at QSTP, said: “Over the past 12-13 years, we have tried to master all aspects of the innovation value chain. We’ve launched our own accelerator that helps budding founding teams. Our incubator has around thirty high-tech startups.
Speaking about the venture capital fund, he noted, “We have launched a venture capital fund called the technology venture capital fund and we have the ability to direct seed investments that are cultivated not only in the ecosystem of the Qatar Foundation, but also in the wider ecosystem. We have been able to recognize that this market may be small in number, but the opportunities are significant. Qatar has taken some very interesting initiatives on board, whether it’s the future of city life through entities like Lusail or Msherieb and the technology deployed to support the upcoming World Cup, in the field health understand the future of precision medicine by launching national programs and by sequencing genomes and building biobanks. These initiatives create their own gravity and allow international startups to access these opportunities.
Responding to a question about the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, he pointed out that development will continue after the World Cup and that the World Cup is coming to an end, it does not mean that the progress that is happening in the local ecosystem and the wider economy will come to an end.
There are certain global trends that Qatar is well placed to capitalize on. Thus, these trends indicate where the broader economy has invested and engaged in precision healthcare in a significant way.
“Qatar has played a leading role in running the Qatar Genome program, which allows us tremendous access to data from these genomes. Qatar should benefit from this because it has made a significant commitment and is benefiting from it now. There is a a number of sectors where the foundation and the broader economy have made commitments in areas where the market is going to grow in the next five to ten years, so I don’t think the World Cup is the end, but it is the start of a more knowledge- and innovation-driven stage of the economy,” he added.
Vlad Vlaicu, Senior Manager ICT and Business Development, Ooredoo discussed ICT and Telecom and the whole network support in terms of infrastructure.
Responding to a question on how Ooreodo builds Qatar’s startup system and helps startups grow in Qatar, Vlaicu said, “Ooredoo is the leading provider of telecommunications and ICT. We are trying to transform Qatar into a smart and digital nation. Together with MCIT, we provide the Tasmu platform – the digital nation. As Ooredoo, we have a full range of connectivity products and services, we build and host Microsoft, Google platforms.
“We are the anchor in connectivity, cloud and IoT services and we are leaders in terms of new services and technologies and are always open with our partners to bring new solutions and businesses to Qatar. The way we do it as Ooredoo, we have our own startup acceleration programs and different initiatives. We are always open to new ideas. Qatar is a very dynamic market, it is small but very dynamic,” he added.
About the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, he noted, Qatar has many other events or plans and the National Vision 2030 has five different pillars that Qatar is focusing on such as education , transport and construction, sports. Qatar will host the 2030 Asian Games and many other events will be held, so this is just the start. There is a lot of potential for new business ideas that Qatar is looking into.