PwC Middle East commended the development of environmental, social and corporate governance standards in the State of Qatar, which is evident through recent achievements and future plans.
According to the new PwC Middle East report, the increasing momentum in environmental, social and corporate governance standards contributes to stimulating the need to develop legal frameworks that support their developments, in addition to the ambitious economic diversification plans developed by Qatar, which act as an impetus to exploit opportunities related to the development of the sector, and the introduction of legislation and regulations. new to it.
The comprehensive report examines the legal component that underpins the significant progress Qatar has made in its environmental, social and corporate governance initiatives, as well as sheds light on the evolution of regulations, laws and regulations that drive the country’s ambitious growth plans. Among the main highlights of the report is the pivotal role of Qatar National Vision 2023 in protecting the environment, promoting social justice, ensuring corporate governance, and responsible business practices.
Although Qatar possesses vast reserves of natural gas and has one of the highest per capita GDP in the world, the country has taken serious steps to diversify the local economy and reduce dependence on hydrocarbons. Qatar’s winning of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup is also testament to its efforts to diversify its economy, which over the past decade has contributed to remarkable and rapid developments in non-oil sectors such as construction, transportation, infrastructure, tourism and sports.
In parallel, Qatar continued efforts to achieve its National Vision 2030 and work to incorporate environmental, social and corporate governance considerations into various legal structures, including the Commercial Companies Law of 2015, which was amended in 2021, the QFMA’s Corporate Governance Standards, and the Principles Guidelines for the environmental, social and corporate governance standards of the Qatar Stock Exchange, and recent reforms in labor laws, all of which have contributed significantly to supporting the economic transformation of the country.
In terms of sustainability, Qatar, through the World Cup, presented many pioneering environmental initiatives, as it organized the first carbon-neutral tournament in its history, implemented many innovative sustainability measures, and integrated sustainable building practices in its facilities. Given Qatar’s geographic location and dry desert climate, which make the country particularly vulnerable to climate change, this has led to an increase in the country’s focus on environmental sustainability. Smart projects such as Msheireb and Lusail, which are specifically designed to maximize sustainability and reduce emissions, in addition to other projects and initiatives such as the Kharsaa solar power plant with a production capacity of 800 megawatts, which is sufficient to provide about 10% of the peak electricity demand in the country.
Speaking about the new report, Bassam Haj Hamad – Managing Partner and Head of Consulting at PwC Middle East in Qatar said: “With the success of hosting a carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup, and moving forward in implementing the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030, we are confident of Qatar’s ability and high potential to benefit from its World Cup experience in accelerating the journey of national transformation.With the increasing momentum resulting from the focus on environmental, social and corporate governance standards regionally, government measures and investments for the transition towards a sustainable economy have emerged in recent years as evidence of the country’s commitment to environmental and social standards and corporate governance. This makes it an attractive global destination for talent and foreign investment.”
The report also highlights the increasing focus on social responsibility in Qatar within the framework of environmental, social and corporate governance standards, as it presents developments in many social sectors such as education, health, disability and labor rights. In addition, the amendment of labor laws, the implementation of the minimum wage, the regulations that allow changing jobs, the ban on passport confiscation, the promotion of transparency between the employer and the employee, and the continuous expansion of measures to protect against heat stress all demonstrate Qatar’s commitment to development. Social.
Qatar has also taken measures to ensure good governance and transparency of institutions. For example, the Qatar Financial Markets Authority, which supervises listed institutions, has issued its own governance codes to ensure that both the main market institutions and the venture investment market comply with applicable corporate governance requirements. QSE also published its ESG guidelines in December 2016 to assist all listed institutions wishing to incorporate governance into their existing reports. Although the preparation of ESG reports is currently voluntary, the QSE encourages listed institutions to participate in the submission of these reports, and has previously indicated the possibility of making them mandatory.
Ahmed Anani, Partner and Head of Business Legal Solutions Sector at PwC Middle East, commented, “Through our discussions with clients, we have concluded that organizations are still in the ‘start-up’ mode in terms of ESG strategies and implementation. That said, according to our research, 86% of large organizations indicate that better regulation would enhance and accelerate the implementation of their own strategies in this area.Given the efforts made by the government in recent years, we are confident that Qatar is on the right track towards Establish the principles of environmental, social standards and corporate governance in all areas of economic and social growth and development.In our role at PwC Middle East, we focus on helping our clients develop, guide and encourage compliance with environmental, social standards and corporate governance frameworks and regulations, which help them move towards a carbon-neutral future And more focused on sustainability in line with national goals. We also play the role of a guide to spreading awareness by implementing these topics on the ground, and accelerating work by presenting different areas for applying environmental, social and corporate governance standards in institutions and society as a whole.”
He added: “This and PwC’s global strategy entitled “The New Approach” enables the community of solution makers to support government and public sector clients in their pursuit of their national agenda, and meet their needs to respond to the rapid changes that are taking place in the world, while enhancing public confidence, and providing sustainable results for institutions. companies, stakeholders and communities, which have a positive and sustainable impact.”
He continued: “We believe that the necessities of environmental, social and corporate governance standards will accelerate the massive and accelerating transformation of the countries of our region, and will support our clients in transforming their business model to decarbonize the value chain, increase transparency, and develop consistent frameworks and standards for reporting on environmental, social and corporate governance standards.”
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