Qatar economy to grow by 3.5% this year: PM
29 Mar 2017 - 1:10
Doha/Birmingham: Despite the sharp drop in oil and gas prices over the past two years and the current price outlook at low levels compared with previous years, Qatar has achieved good growth rates thanks to its efforts in diversifying economic activities and increasing the efficiency of public spending.
The Qatari economy is expected to grow by 3.5% this year, Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani said yesterday.
Addressing the Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum in Birmingham yesterday the Prime Minister said that in recent years, Qatar's economy has been one of the best performing economies in the world, with an average GDP growth rate of 6% between 2010 and 2016.
The Premier added that Qatar is at an important historical stage in achieving sustainable development through the implementation of Qatar National Vision 2030 strategies and programs aimed at reducing dependence on oil and gas, achieving economic diversification and transforming into a knowledge based economy.
Qatar has made significant strides in this area, the Premier said, adding that the non-oil sector has grown to a high portion of the GDP of 2016.
“We were very pleased to sign with the UK Prime Minister an MoU for the 2030 Strategy yesterday, to enhance strategic action with the UK,” said the Prime Minister.
He conveyed the condolences of Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to the victims of the recent terrorist incident in the UK and the Emir’s assertion of Qatar's solidarity with the friendly UK in all measures it has taken to counter terrorist acts and to preserve its security and stability.
The Premier explained that since the last forum in 2012, the relations between the two countries witnessed many developments which have pushed for organizing this year's forum in order to push the strategic partnership towards new aspects of cooperation, seeking to accelerate the process of building a knowledge-based economy.
“As we look forward to more contributions from British companies in the Qatari economy, I would like to point to the important role of British companies in the development of the Qatari economy over the past decades, as they have strongly contributed to the booming oil and gas industry and other economic fields,” said the Premier.
He pointed out that Qatar currently has more than 200 British companies in the energy, education, construction, banking, advisory and other sectors. Qatar's exports to Britain reached 1.5 billion pounds while imports reached 1.1 billion pounds in 2016.
The UK is one of the biggest destinations for Qatari investments, with over £40bn in various areas of the British economy, contributing to increased growth and job creation, he added.
The Premier said that Qatar will invest approximately £5bn in the British economy through investment funds and agencies and the competent authorities in Qatar over the next three years to be another addition to its successful investments in the UK, stressing that the new investments will be in all parts of the Kingdom, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Prime Minister affirmed that Qatar will continue to implement major infrastructure projects in the key sectors of education, health and transport, as well as projects related to hosting the 2022 World Cup.
He added that these projects provide significant and remarkable opportunities to advance and enhance cooperation between the two countries.
“ Our quest for a knowledge economy requires a distinct level of education, research and training, and the UK is known to be a leading country in this field,” said the Premier.
He pointed that in the past few months, Qatar has taken important measures to strengthen the business and investment environment in order to promote growth in non-oil sectors and support the private sector to expand its role in the national economy.
Also, work is under way to develop laws and legislation to facilitate procedures for granting and renewing various types of commercial and industrial licences, in addition to developing and expanding industrial and logistic zones.
These actions will facilitate cooperation and joint ventures between Qatari and British companies in the future.
The Prime Minister visited yesterday the accompanying exhibition of the second Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum and toured the different sections of the exhibition and viewed the latest innovation.