The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Middle East and North Africa department director, Mohammed El Qorchi, said the State of Qatar has substantial capabilities to diversify its economy, pointing to the State's efforts in preparing for investment programmes as well as projects related to hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Speaking to Lusail newspaper, El Qorchi said that IMF believes the State of Qatar's policy towards economic diversification has been good, which, he added, is nothing new for the country, as the Qatari economy had previous plans in this respect.
He noted that the government is making huge efforts and highlighted that the IMF report on Qatar will be reviewed at the IMF headquarters on Friday and will be published once discussions conclude.
On the policy of enhancing partnership between the public and private sectors that the government has adopted for a while and how successful it is, El Qorchi said the partnership is essential for pushing the economic growth forward because progress cannot be achieved through the government and government projects only but the private sector must be partner because it is the base of development.
He added that the policies that are intended to support co-operation between the public and private sectors are vital because they facilitate opportunities to the private sector.
As for the Qatari banking system and its handling of the Gulf crisis, El Qorchi said it is very strong and has handled the Gulf crisis firmly, noting that the Qatar Central Bank played a pivotal role in the crisis as it assisted the Qatari banks that had a liquidity issue.
He added that the Qatari banks are strong and have a substantial capital and making a steady profit, highlighting the strength of the balance of payments, which made the Qatari economy strong.
The IMF official praised Qatar's plans to strengthen production and expand its liquefied natural gas projects in order to enhance its status in the global market and in the gas exports sector.
He added that the government's past policies have proved to be right, particularly after the Gulf crisis, as the banking system, the economy and the state's general budget "all looked in good shape" during the crisis.