On the right path

 07 Dec 2017 - 8:11

The Peninsula

Diversification of economy with the active participation of the private sector has bode well for any country keen to shift its focus from key sources of income and this holds true with Qatar too. Increasing diversification of Qatar’s economy has demonstrated that the efforts taken by the policymakers have started bearing fruits.

At a panel discussion during the Euromoney Qatar Conference 2017, Finance Minister H E Ali Shareef Al Emadi said the government’s desire to strengthen the role of the private sector began three years ago, but the unprecedented blockade on Qatar forced the country to speed up the process. The Minister said the country will extend unflinching support to the private sector. 

The new budget for fiscal 2018 will see a significant focus on strengthening private sector. Focus will also be made on SMEs sector and the FIFA-related projects. The budget will also support economic diversification and there is also an increase in government spending on all projects and services. The Finance Minister expressed his belief that everyone expected Qatar to face major obstacles in the first few weeks of the siege. 

However, the country was able to overcome the effects quickly.  Qatar Central Bank Governor H E Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud Al Thani said Qatar handled the siege with the highest level of efficiency and succeeded in breaking the blockade thanks to the wise leadership of Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the support of the State for all sectors. The State began to support the private sector to enable it to play its role, especially in the area of self-sufficiency in foods and supplies. Emphasis was laid on self-reliance for various services, and efforts were made to push and support national products.

All infrastructure projects including roads, bridges and stadiums, among others are being implemented and will be completed on time, the QCB chief said. 

In a commendable move, the government is working on six comprehensive strategies for six priority sectors — the manufacturing industry, scientific and professional activities, financial services, information and communications, tourism and logistic services. The government is also working on broad regulations to identify the nature of the relationship in public-private partnerships ventures. The private sector has been called upon to support the government in these endeavours.

Qatar’s economy has performed well. It is strong and has overcome all the pressures despite siege. The country is looking forward to transform its economy and making it more competitive to attract foreign investments. The country’s upcoming free trade zone aims to be a pillar of economic boom in the future. All in all, Qatar is on the right path toward economic diversification.