This week the spotlight is on legal and regulatory developments in Qatar, where the country’s Cabinet has approved a draft industrial zones law and referred it to the Advisory Council for further consideration. It defines industrial zones as areas designated for industrial purposes in line with its provisions, including lands, installations and facilities erected on it. Under the law, the establishment of industrial zones will be decided by a Cabinet Decision following a recommendation from the Energy and Industry Minister and the relevant authorities in the country. All natural resources which appear or lie in the industrial zone territory will be State property and tenants will be adequately compensated for the loss of full or partial use of these lands. No industrial establishment will be able to be founded in the industrial zones without authorisation from relevant authorities in the State and after Energy and Industry Ministry approval.
The Cabinet also approved a draft law to protect national products and tackle any practices which may harm them internationally but in line with World Trade Organisation agreements. ‘Harmful practices’ are defined as ‘dumping, dedicated subsidy and increase in imports’. ‘Dumping’ is defined as ‘exporting a product to the country at a price below the normal value of its counterpart in the exporting country’. A committee to enforce the law will be established at the Economy and Commerce Ministry. Its members will have experience in WTO agreements and Ministry representatives and relevant entities. It will have the power to receive reports on violations of the law and review them as well as carry out the necessary investigations. It will also be able to propose appropriate measures and practices to be taken regarding complaints referred to it and submit relevant proposals to the Minister. In addition, they will be able to propose preventive measures to protect national products in line with the law. Based on Committee recommendations the Minister will take appropriate measures to enforce the law.