Qatar’s recent labour law reforms are expected to attract more Swedish companies to the local market, ambassador Ewa Polano said.
Polano’s statement came in the wake of Sunday’s implementation of Qatar’s new exit permit law and recent discussions between Swedish officials and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Project Office in Doha.
According to Polano, Law No 13 of 2018 which allows expatriate workers covered under the labour law to leave the country without an exit permit, “is further strong proof of the strong efforts from the Qatari government.”
Last month, Polano said Ann Dismorr, the director of the Middle East and North Africa Department (UD-Mena) at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held a meeting in Doha with ILO Project Office head Houtan Homayounpour to discuss labour-related issues.
“I am glad to share that we have ongoing bilateral discussions with Qatar and the ILO Project Office in Doha on how to support Qatar further with our expertise in the field of labour legislation, and also sharing our strong experience of having had a longstanding and fruitful relation between employer and employees in Sweden,” Polano told Gulf Times.
Polano added that Hakan Emsgard, the ambassador of trade and investments, department for Middle East and North Africa at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, is visiting Qatar this week.
“This high-level visit offers Qatar and Sweden an opportunity to deepen our trade and investment relationship for the benefit of both nations. I have also organised a meeting with Mohamed al-Obaidli, assistant undersecretary for Labour Affairs at the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, and the ILO director this week to develop this co-operation further.
“I am convinced that with these positive and constructive measures from the government of Qatar, we will see an even stronger interest from Swedish companies to enter the Qatari market now when all the infrastructure projects need to be finalised before 2022,” Polano stressed.
The ambassador pointed out that after the inauguration of the ILO Project Office in April this year, the Swedish embassy and other EU embassies have been “following and supporting their shared efforts to reach concrete results in quick time.”
“It has become a priority for all EU embassies in Qatar, and Sweden has always had an extra strong focus on these issues during the last years,” Polano added.