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Tue 6 Mar 2012 12:27 PM

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Qatar is "absolutely clean" - business chief

Chamber boss hits back at claims country uses sweeteners to secure major events

Qatar is "absolutely clean" - business chief
Rowhani hits out at claims Qatar uses unlawful means to secure events.

A prominent Qatari business
leader involved in Doha’s successful bid to stage the 2013 World
Chambers Congress has hit out at suggestions the country’s officials used
bribes to secure hosting rights to major global events.

Qatar, which was recently
declared the world’s richest country, is aiming to raise its global profile by
hosting major international sports and business events. Having secured the
hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament, it is now in the process of
bidding to stage the Olympic Games in 2020.

Following the World Cup
announcement, several media outlets and reports, as well as evidence presented
to a British parliamentary inquiry, claimed Qatar used bribes to secure the
tournament.

Remy Rowhani, director general of
the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) and leader of Qatar’s
successful bid to stage the 2013 World Chambers Congress, hit out at
suggestions officials using unlawful means to secure events.

“We did it very clean, absolutely
clean,” he said firmly when asked how Doha had managed to secure the 2013
event. “I have certain principles that I don’t scarify for petty issues… We did
it very well and these are men and women of principle, all of them that work
with me,” Rowhani, whose organisation represents over 22,000 companies in
Qatar, added.

The securing of the World Chamber
Congress, a gathering of over 2,000 of the business world’s most prominent
leaders, and other events of its calibre was down to Qatar’s financial
credentials and its economic strength, Rowhani stated.

“The winning of this event in
2013 was a victory for us as a chamber, and as a country. It was truly a
victory and it put us in the global limelight. The whole world’s attention was
on Qatar.

“Qatar is the fastest growing
economy in the world. Qatar is most peaceful country in the world. Qatar is one
of the safest countries in the world and one of the most transparent countries.
These are not just words, these are from international institutions. We
emphasised these key issues.

“There were a lot of other
reasons, but people are interested to know where Qatar is and what Qatar is.
There is so much potential, which people want to tap into,” he said.

The full interview with Remy
Rowhani, director general of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI)
will be published in this month’s Arabian Business Qatar magazine.