Qatar British Business Forum (QBBF) welcomed Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex as guest speaker at its monthly networking luncheon. The event is one of the many ongoing events and activities organised to promote business opportunities in Qatar and encourage trade between the UK and Qatar.
QBBF Chairman and CEO of the Rumaillah Group Emad Turkman MBE, introduced Her Royal Highness, who spent the week in Doha with Orbis UK, the global blindness prevention charity which last year delivered 6.1m optical treatments to save the sight of people in some of the most deprived areas around the world.
Mr Turkman highlighted her important work in eliminating avoidable blindness.
Her Royal Highness stressed the importance of ensuring that business has a positive impact on people and the planet:
“There are 39 million people in the world today who are blind, most of them in poor areas of the globe. Yet, in eight out of ten cases, blindness can be prevented or treated with proven, cost effective interventions. It is clear that one of the most effective methods of addressing urgent global issues is through strategic alliances between companies and non-profits, who together are joining forces to benefit both society and business.”
“In more recent times charities have come to understand that in order to attract bigger and more sustained income they have had to start speaking a new kind of language. They have had to prove that charitable giving is not just good for the conscience, but it is good for business too and over the past decade the term corporate social responsibility, or philanthropy, has become commonplace, with many businesses recognising the benefits of the triple bottom line ensuring a positive impact on people, planet and profit.”
Mr Turkman commented: “Her Royal Highness is a Patron of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight and a Global Ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. Through these roles she has seen first-hand the difference that organisations with the right knowledge, experience and funding – like Orbis UK and Standard Chartered Bank – can make on a global scale. The bank’s Seeing Is Believing initiative has raised US$ 79.4 million which has reached more than 78 million people and funded over 3.4 million cataract operations and surgical interventions.”
The luncheon is part of a series of events QBBF host throughout the year to discuss various topics; most recently Double Olympic Champion Dame Kelly Holmes who discussed the importance of sport for health and well-being, as well as Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham who shared his experiences as a leading light in the field of medicine, and Qatar’s healthcare sector achievements and challenges.