H.E. Yousef Hussain Kamal, Minister of Economy and Finance of Qatar
On the outlook of global and GCC economies, Dr. Theodore said, “Global economic growth is expected to drop in 2012. The recovery will depend on performance in the second half of 2012, determined largely by the euro crisis. Middle East and North Africa outlook for 2012 improved in 2012 due to higher oil prices and recovery from Libya. The GCC GDP at current prices is expected to grow up by 11% beyond $1.5tn in 2012 mainly due to higher oil prices.”
Dr. Theodore highlighted the visionary leadership of Qatar, “Qatar’s National Vision 2030 (QNV2030) builds on a society that promotes justice, benevolence and equality, and the four pillars of QNV 2030 are human, social, economic and environmental development. Qatar plan’s to create a knowledge-based economy, is crucial,” he said.
Qatar economy is expected to grow by 6% in 2012, he said. In 2012 and beyond growth will depend on non-hydrocarbon economy. Qatar’s 2011-12 budget gave higher thrust on education, healthcare and infrastructure. It is expected that the 2012-13 budget will be based on higher oil price than 2011-12 and can support infrastructure development.
He said the Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-16 ‘’will balance challenges of Qatar’s National vision 2030’’, aggregate GDP growth in 2012-2016 is expected to average to 6.9%, out of which hydrocarbon GDP growth is by 4.4% and non- hydrocarbon GDP by 9.1.” Qatar’s Overall fiscal position is expected to be healthy with surplus of 5.7% of GDP by 2016. By 2016 the service sector could account for 40% of total output up from 36% in 2009.
Highlighting infrastructure opportunities in Qatar, Dr. Theodore said, “Major projects are planned for Qatar’s infrastructural development in anticipation of FIFA 2022. Some of the major projects in Qatar include New Doha Port and Barwa City. Qatar ranks 14th globally in Global Competitiveness Report 2011-12. Qatar is also expected to have a full-fledged Boeing facility”.
He said the US investment in Qatar is expected to exceed $8bn and will focus oil and gas sector. “Qatar has strong fundamentals, a visionary leadership and discipline in long-term planning. Various ratings show very high degree of economic optimism, a warm and friendly investment climate also prevails. Qatar’s economic diversification is also expected to happen which will contribute to economic growth and provide bilateral opportunities between Qatar and other countries.
He spoke keeping inflation in check, Qatar’s infrastructure strategy, and recent development in the banking sector. Lately, Qatar
National Bank, the state lender seeking to boost its regional presence through acquisitions, has hired JP Morgan Chase to advise on its planned buy of Societe Generale’s Egyptian arm, three sources he said. SocGen is in early talks with QNB to sell its 77.2% stake in National Societe Generale Bank – the Egyptian lender which has a market value of around $2.3bn – as the French bank seeks to shore up its capital through divestments. Additionally, Gulf investors remain positive on Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman as they see potential for market liberalization, new investment products and harmonized regulation to help deepen the region’s capital markets. This was revealed at the third quarter Middle East and North Africa (Mena) Asset Management Survey, a joint initiative of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) and FTSE.
Source: Caye Global News, Gulf Times, Reuters
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