Qatar could become a major manufacturing hub and aim for a future that lasts well beyond the energy boom, noted inventor and entrepreneur Dr S Thomas Emerson has said.
“The competitive advantages include strategic location, excellent air and sea transportation, abundance of capital, very low-cost energy, ability to import low-cost labour, and the educational infrastructure,” he said in an interview.
Dr Emerson, one of the creators of the now ubiquitous Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology, is the David T and Lindsay J Morganthaler Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Presently, he is on a three-year assignment at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, delivering courses on entrepreneurship for scientists and engineers as well as a more advanced course on topics in entrepreneurship.
“Generally speaking, most economies do not have the luxury of importing labour in the way that Doha has done it. I think the availability of labour, particularly from India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, can be utilised for low-cost manufacturing,” Emerson said.