- Special Pages
By Nasser Al Harthy
DOHA: Qatar’s investment and banking sector will be the main beneficiaries of the country’s future economic growth by participating in the financing of the upcoming multi-billion riyals projects, said Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) CEO yesterday.
“The recent government decision to increase the capital of national banks is in line with this approach. This will provide an opportunity for the national banks to participate actively in financing projects that will be adopted in the budgets of the coming years,” Nasser Khalil Al Jaidah said.
He added that the huge infrastructure investments that will be undertaken by Qatar to be ready for hosting the 2022 World Cup are likely to lead the movement of economic growth in Qatar.
Although a large portion of these projects was originally planned as part of the ambitious National Vision 2030 that aims to modernise the state, he said, the difference now would be in rate of execution, noting that the private sector will be able to play a larger role, thereby diminishing the large contribution of government in the economy.
The QPI CEO was delivering the keynote address on behalf of Deputy Premier and Chief of the Emiri Diwan, H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah at the Meed Qatar Projects 2011 which opened here yesterday.
The upcoming projects include a $25bn on metro and trains, the establishment of a $10bn new airport in Doha, a deep-water port at a cost of $7bn and a bridge linking Bahrain and Qatar that will cost $4bn.
Qatar also plans to spend $20bn in creating new roads and developing the existing road system. The projects are directly related to the World Cup, especially the establishment of nine new stadiums and the renovation of three existing stadiums at a cost of up to $4bn.
Al Jaidah noted that while hydrocarbon export revenues will continue to act as a catalyst for the whole economy in Qatar, it will secure the main source of funding for the upcoming multi billion riyals capital projects.
“Undertaking these huge infrastructure projects will present us with enormous challenges which are not going to be limited to logistical capabilities, but will also involve financial facility, administrative efficiency, planning and coordination skills, and management of large scale projects,” he said.
He added that more than fifty per cent of today’s GDP growth in Qatar is due to the developments in the hydrocarbon sector. During the next few years, the engine of GDP growth will start to change in favor of the non-hydrocarbon sector of the economy.
Reffering to the current international situation, Al Jaidah said, “ the interdependent world we live in requires taking into account today’s global variables to plan for our future.”
He said the volatility seen in oil prices was a clear example of interdependence, noting that factors that extert their influence on oil market were not limited to fundamentals, but also economic indicators and geopolitical events.
The Middle East is passing through a turning point that might change it forever. The acceleration of events that unfolds in one part of the Middle East cast a shadow of uncertainty over other parts, said Al Jaidah.
“A few days back, the oil price crossed the $100 a barrel threshold for the first time since the global recession brought oil prices tumbling down two and a half years back. Traders are worried over the developments in Egypt. Despite being a small producer, Egypt plays a key role as an important gateway for Middle East oil through the Suez Canal.One vivid example of interdependency,” he added.