On a strong footing

 25 Nov 2017 - 14:48

The Peninsula

Qatar’s economy is on the upswing and growing at a fastest rate than ever in the region despite the illegal blockade imposed by siege countries nearly six months ago. The financial situation of the country is stable and the country has maintained high international credit ratings.

Qatar has emerged stronger post crisis because of its policy of economic openness which in turn has attracted more foreign investors into the country. Qatar has huge financial resources and reserves of more than $300bn and Qatar Central Bank is playing a vital role in maintaining the stability of the country’s financial sector.

Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani in an interview on Qatar TV programme Al Haqiqa (The Truth) said that strengthening Qatar’s economy is a top priority for the country. “The impact of this crisis is very mild. Two weeks after the beginning of the crisis, things returned to normal. To reassure citizens and residents, I would like to say that Qatar’s economy enjoys a strong position and is supported by huge monetary and financial reserves capable of supporting the Qatari currency and the Qatari economy,” the Prime Minister said.

Qatar absorbed the blockade’s economic shock very quickly. With huge emphasis on self-reliance vis-a-vis focus on national products, Qatar embarked on providing many incentives to the private sector. The inauguration of Hamad Port in September proved to be a game changer.

What the Prime Minster said proves true to the point. “This is a project for us and for future generations. We now have 10 routes, and have reached almost 70 destinations around the world. Through the port, we attracted international shipping companies, and have acquired about 27 percent of cargo in the Middle East.”

Minister of Finance, H E Ali Shareef Al Emadi, who participated in the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Washington DC last month, noted: “Our economy is still the fastest growing in the region, with a 2.5 percent growth rate. The most important thing this blockade has shown the world is that Qatar is a reliable trade partner. We have never missed a single shipment and we continue to provide natural gas to the UAE as per existing contracts, regardless of our current differences, proving yet again that Qatar does not use its economic power for political leverage.”

The blockade has had a positive impact on many sectors. All 2022 World Cup-related projects are progressing as per schedule. Qatar is now stronger than ever and is gaining new friends around the world, having proven its credibility and economic strength.