How the solid economic fundamentals secures the economic sustainability of Qatar?

Despite turbulent global market conditions, HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani has reassured the economic sustainability of Qatar, which is anchored on solid economic fundamentals.

The Prime Minister’s statement was part of his official address delivered yesterday during the Euromoney Qatar Conference 2014 which concludes today at the Ritz-Carlton in Doha.

“The economic growth of Qatar is well-connected with the development of the global economy; that is why we are concentrating on following-up these developments and the potential consequences,” Sheikh Abdullah said.

He was referring to big-ticket projects that form part of the Qatar National Vision 2030 in the areas of infrastructure, economic growth, and building Qatari human capital.

The Prime Minister stressed that HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has put a premium on economic growth by creating a sustainable development strategy “for all sectors of society.”

“Economic growth is important and requires a lot of attention from the government. This is quite clear in the allocations of the State’s budget for education and health, including infrastructure and massive development projects such as those related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” the Prime Minister said.

Aside from economic development, Sheikh Abdullah also emphasised the government’s thrust to transform Qatar into a knowledge-based economy by prioritising the “development of the Qatari citizen.”

“That is why the government has invested in education, health, and projects related to the transformation of the economy into a knowledge-based society,” he said.

According to the Prime Minister, “Financial activities pave the way for more participation of the private sector in the economic environment.”

He emphasised that Qatar is constantly supporting the non-hydrocarbon sector through the expansion of industrial areas and by increasing the capacity of storage as well as the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Doha Bank Group CEO R Seetharaman said “Qatar’s economic fundamentals are well-founded.”

“We have diversification as a structured solution and the country’s economic fundamentals in terms of overall GDP growth are sustainable,” Seetharaman told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the event.

He said there was continued growth of Qatar’s non-hydrocarbon economy and pointed out that inflation “is fairly under control.”

“Surplus will continue to be sustained in line with the overall 2030 vision in light of progressive measures taken by HH the Emir, the Prime Minister, and his team,” he said.

He added, “If you look at the first nine months, the combined lending in the banking sector is more than 10%. That shows enough liquidity. There is enough credit creation and sufficient lending is also taking place. SMEs are progressive and many projects are getting announced.”

Qatar’s $200bn economy is
insulated from sluggish global growth: HSBC

Qatar’s $200bn economy “remains insulated from sluggish global growth” thanks to its hydrocarbon wealth and large public investment programme designed to accelerate economic diversification, said HSBC chief economist (CEEMEA) Simon Williams.

He was speaking at the HSBC’s 17th Middle East Economics Roadshow at W Hotel Doha yesterday.

Williams said the central government budget continued to register large surpluses and the outlook remained bright. Public investments are expected to keep growth at roughly 6%-7% over the medium term, with non-hydrocarbon growth remaining about 10%.

“The extent to which this public investment will encourage private sector productivity remains the key long-term question,” Williams said.

HSBC global head (foreign exchange strategy) David Bloom said, “The slowdown in global economic activity seems to be intensifying, with particular weakness in the eurozone. Global financial markets suddenly seem very nervous about economic growth prospects. Could the weakness in global activity so alter the prospects for the US that the dollar rally runs out of steam? This scenario seems unlikely, given the strength of the US economy.”

At the roadshow, HSBC chief economist Stephen King said, “The next year is likely to see an extraordinary tug of war between the major central banks in the developed world. The US Federal Reserve intends to raise interest rates. The Bank of Japan is already an enthusiast for quantitative easing.

“The European Central Bank, faced with excessively low inflation, is likely to be converted to the cause by early 2015. For the developed world, we expect 2.6% US growth in 2015 but Japan is proving to be a major disappointment and we have reduced our forecast to 1%. Eurozone growth also trundles along at around 1%. There are a few bright spots in the world economy – notably the wealthier parts of the Middle East.”

A HSBC release said the Middle East was a region of growing opportunity and influence in the world economy.

At the roadshow, 130 people gathered to hear HSBC’s economic experts discuss the outlook for the region. Over the next month, the forum will travel to Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait and Oman. Source: Gulf Times