Qatar yesterday held that it deserved to be in the highest credit rating category of “triple-A” due to its inherent economic strengths.
“Our strength deserves triple-A rating,” Finance Minister HE Yousef Hussein Kamal told the seventh MultaQa conference which is being organised by the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and Global Reinsurance magazine.
Qatar, now rated “AA”, is actively working towards achieving the “triple-A” tier, according to him.
“Our history has been strong, which gives us confidence to convince companies that we can reach triple-A,” said the minister, who is also the chairman of the QFC Authority (QFCA).
Global credit rating agency Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s had assigned “Aa2” and “AA” rating to the energy-rich Qatar, which according to the minister, was still a testament to the country’s ambient investment climate.
He said Qatar had carved a niche place with its economy growing by a robust 13% during 2008-12 when the other economies were facing slowdown.
Although most of the growth came from hydrocarbon production, he said the non-hydrocarbon sector’s share in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was also on the increase.
“The non-hydrocarbon sector is expected to maintain a 9% growth as it was last year”, in line with Qatar’s National Vision 2030 that aimed at strong and sustainable economy with diversity, he said.
“In the hydrocarbon sector, we don’t expect to see an increase before 2017,” he said, adding the construction sector growth would reach 10% growth this year and next year, while the transport and communications sector would see 10% to 15% growth.
According to the updated Qatar Economic Outlook of the General Secretariat for Development Planning, real GDP growth in 2013 is expected to slow somewhat as declining yields from maturing oil fields will clip growth in the hydrocarbon sector. Still, spurred by construction activity and by continued vitality in services, non-oil and gas activity will continue apace.
Elaborating on the growth strategy for the non-hydrocarbon segment, Kamal said the country had laid out a total capital expenditure to the tune of $140bn until 2019 for infrastructure projects.
The minister said Qatar had evolved several legal frameworks to safeguard the financial industry within the country and to ensure conducive environment for growth and sustainability and be able to face any risks in future.
QFCA managing director Abdulrahman al-Shaibi said the Law No 13 of 2012 would lay the base for increased co-operation between the regulatory and supervisory bodies in Qatar as they developed and applied regulatory and supervisory policy and implement international standards and best practices to deliver the objectives of the National Vision 2030 and the national development strategy 2011-16.
Source: Caye Global News, Gulf Times
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