Qatar is progressing towards sustained economic growth through long term diversification. The country is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and its economy is expected to grow at a faster rate next year, said Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) yesterday.
“Qatar’s economy is forecast to grow 2.8 percent this year and close to three percent in 2020. We are one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and notably the second most competitive economy in the Middle East,” said Al Jaida, delivering a keynote speech at The Qatar Trade Summit which began at the Hotel Intercontinental, Doha the City, yesterday.
He said the nation is witnessing sustainable economic growth, thanks to several proactive measures taken by the government in the past.
“As Qatar National Vision 2030 places great emphasis on economic diversification and development of the private sector, Qatar has taken major strides in the recent years that are shaping the nation’s reputation as a big destination and a gateway of choice to the larger Mena region,” he said. “In 2019, Qatar was ranked first in the Arab region and seventh globally in terms of investment security,” he added.
The resilience of Qatar’s economy is has been vindicated by many global agencies. He said that last January, global rating agencies S&P (Standard & Poor’s) and Moody’s reaffirmed outlook on Qatar’s economy noting that Qatar has succeeded in mitigating the financial impact of geopolitical challenges.
“There is currently a multi-billion dollar infrastructure development underway. This major infrastructure development comprises of big-ticket transport projects coupled with the rapid expansion of tourism, education and real estate,” he added.
Qatar has become an important destination for global investors, which is evident from rising foreign investment.
“Foreign investments, including foreign direct investment (FDI) and portfolio investment, in Qatar, amounted to QR722.6bn by the end of the first quarter of this year, recording a month-on-month increase of 1.1 percent, or QR7.9bn, compared to the previous quarter,” said Yousuf Al Jaida.
QFC is targeting to attract more than 1,000 companies and create more than 10,000 jobs in the financial and non-financial sectors in the country by 2022.
Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo, Qatar Airways, spoke about how air freight is shaping Qatar’s economy. Giving an overview of operations of cargo operations, he said that Qatar Airways Cargo played an important role in ensuring an uninterrupted supply of goods after the illegal blockade was imposed on Qatar in June 2017.
Lim Meng Hui, CEO, Qatar Free Zones Authority, talked about how the free zones in Qatar are positioned to enhance trade through connectivity between air and seaports. Kunal Bhatt, Vice-President Cargo Corporate Services, Qatar Airways; Amadou Diallo, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding, Middle East & Africa and other regional leaders also shared their views during the panel discussion.