H.E. Mr. Ali Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry, participated on Thursday, April 2, 2020, in the extraordinary meeting of the Ministers of Commerce of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The meeting was held using video conferencing technology to discuss the latest developments, as well as the economic repercussions of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Discussions touched on the efforts that GCC member states are undertaking to face the economic and trade challenges amid the spread of the coronavirus, as well as the mechanisms to support and enable the private sector to play a role in supporting the economy under the current circumstances. The Ministers reviewed the precautionary and preventive measures taken by Gulf countries to limit the spread of this pandemic.
The meeting also touched on the recommendations put forward by the Undersecretaries of the Ministries of commerce in GCC member states during an extraordinary meeting held last week.
Speaking at the meeting, H.E. Mr. Al Kuwari noted that Qatar had sought to take all the necessary measures to ensure the regular flow of food products, as well as pharmaceutical and medical supplies through its trading partners worldwide prior to the emergence of this pandemic.
H.E. added that Qatar immediately addressed the issue by taking all precautions to ensure the availability of necessary medical supplies to limit the spread of the coronavirus, while promoting preventive measures through awareness-raising campaigns to inform citizens and residents on the risks of the pandemic.
H.E. indicated that the precautionary measures included reducing the number of employees across public and private sector workplaces, which in turn contributes to containing the virus and limiting its spread.
H.E. added that all businesses and service providers have been temporarily closed, with the exception of those providing necessary services to secure the needs of residents. Citizens and residents were urged to adhere to the precautionary measures and to only leave their homes in the event of extreme necessity, which contributes to controlling the rate and scale of the spread of this pandemic.
H.E. Mr. Al Kuwari wrapped his up his remarks by noting that the Ministry is following up on the latest reports being issued by international and regional organizations on food security and the economic and commercial implications of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), with the aim of working within the framework of the regional and international system to control this pandemic and to mitigate its risks as soon as possible and with the highest possible efficiency.