Qatar is “open for business not only for the GCC but globally,” said HE the Minister of Finance, Ali Sherif al-Emadi. In an interview with CNN as part of the channel’s coverage of the Davos ‘World Economic Forum’, al-Emadi touched upon the effects of the GCC blockade on Qatar and said, “I think this blockade and the challenges that happen with the GCC will bring more opportunities for the State of Qatar. Obviously, it was a lot to do with GCC integration, today I think were also focusing a lot on how we can be self-sustainable and self-dependant on many sectors of the economy.”
“So, going forward, I don’t think Qatar’s economy or its economic policy will change, actually it will be more resilient. We’re currently on the eighth month of the blockade; lots of people gave us a few weeks to survive this. Despite whatever we had in the eighth month, we’re still the fastest growing,” al-Emadi told CNN. When asked about claims that senior officials in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have “moved beyond Qatar’ and ‘don’t really see it as part of the Gulf now,” al-Emadi said “Qatar is part of the international, economic, business situation as a whole”
On whether Qatar was preparing for a future outside of the Gulf (GCC), al-Emadi replied, “Let’s compare, take any 10 major economic indicators globally, locally, internationally, whatever you want-let’s see what we’ve done with our money. They’ll say Qatar has a lot of wealth and they’ve been using money to do this, this and this. I’ve always said we’ve used our money for the best of our people and this is how I would like to continue and this is our policy.”
Meanwhile, HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani said Qatar’s economy performed better than expected last year and required “minimal” government support to blunt the effects of a trade and diplomatic embargo by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries. “There are no signs of a resolution to the crisis,” Sheikh Ahmed told Bloomberg TV in an interview in Davos.
Government support for the economy was needed only in the first few weeks, focusing mostly on logistics to reroute imports, he said. “We opened new routes, we opened new markets, and we are trading with the whole world. The world is not only these four countries,” Sheikh Ahmed said. “From an economic point of view we can live forever without those countries.”
Sources and photo-credits: Gulf Times