Sunday, 01 August 2021 01:00 GMT

Qatar's economy back on path of recovery


(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula

Doha: Qatar’s economy is back on the path of recovery supported by the timely response from the government and other stakeholders, highlighted senior officials while participating in a  virtual client conference titled ‘Qatar Economic Development and Opportunities’, that was hosted by Doha Bank, on June 9.

The Speakers at the event included Khalid Abdulla Al Mana, Executive Director of Business Finance, Qatar Development Bank; Rashid bin Ali Al Mansoori, CEO, Qatar Stock Exchange; Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, CEO of QFC Authority and Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad bin J Al Thani, Director of Public Health, Ministry of Public Health. 

Delivering introductory speech, Dr. R Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank gave overview of global and local economy. 'According to IMF April 2021, Qatar economy expected to grow by 2.4 percent in 2021.The banking sector witnessed a lending growth of more than 5 percent in the first four months of this year. This year Qatar has come out with ambitious expansion plans on the LNG segment,” he added. 

He said the normalization of relations between Qatar and its neighbours would help Qatar’s non-oil economy, with a resumption of travel links eventually lifting tourism inflows and greater interest of regional buyers in Qatar’s real estate market. In April 2021, Qatar Cabinet had announced support to private sector which was closed to COVID-19 precautionary measures. 

'Qatar’s trade surplus had tripled Year-on-Year in April 2021. The PPP law and Investment law will provide opportunities. The 2-tier residency program has encouraged participation in Qatar property market. A draft law has come into effect in April 2021, allowing 100 percent foreign ownership in Qatari listed companies and provides opportunity for global investors. Qatar stock exchange has recovered to pre- COVID-19 levels. The Qatar’s reforms can enable post – COVID economic recovery.” 

In his speech, Khalid Abdulla Al Mana, said: 'As a key contributor to the nation’s economic diversification, QDB continues to play a critical role in maintaining the strength of SMEs in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts are bolstered to great effect due to the tremendous support of the Government and QDB’s flexible and meticulous response strategy, in addition to the rapid digital transformation process we are continuing to undergo. 

'These factors were positively reflected in a significant increase witnessed at the level of financing, export and advisory, and educational services, as well as the localisation of supply chains and the development of the creative energies of Qatari entrepreneurs. It is this resilience which has truly enabled us to transform the challenges into opportunities and continue supporting the development and prosperity of the Qatari economy,” he added.

Rashid bin Ali Al Mansoori stated that the Qatar Stock Exchange was part of the country’s delegation to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. He held a number of important meetings and signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation with the Moscow Exchange, as an important step toward strengthening cooperation between the two countries’ capital markets. He emphasised that the QSE is working on a variety of fronts to promote its market and elevate it to the ranks of advanced international stock exchanges.  

Al Mansouri added that despite the pandemic’s persistence, the Qatar Stock Exchange continued to implement its ambitious policy of strengthening its infrastructure, providing more services to investors, and launching the Venture Market, in which a family business became the first to be listed and transformed into a public shareholding company whose shares are now traded in the market.

Highlighting the increasingly diverse range of opportunities available for foreign firms in Qatar’s business landscape as a result of the ongoing economic diversification, Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, CEO of QFC Authority, said: 'Following the COVID-19 disruption, Qatar’s economy is coming back on the right recovery path, thanks to the timely response from the government as well as the private sector institutions in adequately handling the shockwaves of the pandemic. The current growth prospects stem from the early stimulus measures that were taken to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on businesses in Qatar”. 

He said that the country’s economy is set to witness further key developments revolving around important milestones, including the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the awarding of the North Field South (NFS) contracts, the commencement of The North Field Expansion (NFE) LNG export volumes, and further expansion of the Hamad International Airport (HIA) airport, which will serve as important catalysts for long-term stability. 

Al Jaida added: 'QFC saw a considerable growth of over 63 percent in the number of companies registered on its platform in 2020 compared to 2019, which is a testament to the effectiveness of the reforms as well as the incentive programme on offer.” 
 

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