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Private businesses have the potential to carry out sustained long-term investments in agriculture, as well as food production and storage. is generally considered to be the rate that satisfies all the parties. A totally equitable ratio would be where each party receives the same rate of increase on their investment (cost). Various examples have shown that public private partnerships have the ability to harness the experience and strength of small and medium size enterprises. However, for this partnership to take place and for the development of the SME sector to happen,

allow small scale firms (SMEs) to access knowledge and technologies which they would not otherwise have the ability to exploit.

governments need to create an enabling environment. The key aspect of the enabling environment is the incentives that are made available to SMEs to harness their experience and ability to advance the cause of food security.

In order to effectively deal with the challenges posed by the food security problem there need to be strong partnerships between public institutions and the private sector.

The coming together of public and private participants also allows for divergent interests of both sectors to converge. For instance, a new invention or technological breakthrough may improve yields for small scale producers (which are typically the case in the UAE) with minimal usage of water. This in turn will generate higher profits for the food storage and processing industry. At the same time it allows for the knowledge centre to immediately commercialise research and bring it to the marketplace. Therefore, public-private partnerships are formed and maintained as long as all the participants believe that benefits will be

accrued. This may be the case even though the participants may have different goals or objectives. The ideal situation for such a partnership is where the benefits are positive and proportional to the cost incurred by each party. Although, there is no golden rule as to what may be considered proportional, it

In the first instance, governments need to reform laws and policies that guide business activity as well as to incorporate SMEs into the public private partnership framework. Second, governments need to build investor confidence through investment in infrastructure and the support of research and development centres. The establishment of research and development centres will allow for the private sector, especially SMEs to innovate and market the inventions and ideas that are developed. Third, the private sector and in particular SMEs need to be encouraged to enter the agriculture, food storage and production industries so as to ensure the future security of the country’s food supplies and to capitalise on the huge reservoir of unused potential especially within the SME sector.

Dr. Ashraf Mahate

About Dr. Ashraf Mahate is an expert in international trade and business and an experienced consultant with over 20 years experiences both within the GCC and Europe. During this period Dr Mahate has assisted various small and medium sized companies to effectively penetrate foreign markets. Dr. Mahate has been a past director of a number of companies including a venture capital company and a private equity fund. Dr Mahate has also worked with governmental organisations in the region in developing a national export strategy, free trade agreements, export support and facilitation programmes and practical export training. Dr Mahate carries out his consultancy activities through Bayswater Consulting a company specializing in assisting the SME sector. Dr Mahate received his doctorate from Cass Business School in the UK, which was ranked 10th best in the world. Dr Mahate is a member of the Chartered Institute of Managers (UK) and a Member of the Institute of Commercial Management (UK). Dr Mahate is also a member of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS). Dr. Mahate can be contacted via e-mail at:

February 2012


Private Sector Qatar - Feb2012  
Private Sector Qatar - Feb2012  

English version - February 2012