Posted on November 19, 2018

Doha Bank hosted a knowledge sharing event at DB HO Tower on 19th November to the South African Delegation. The Ambassador of South Africa to Qatar, H.E Mr. Faizel Moosa along with other key people from well-known institutions in South Africa attended this event.

Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank spoke on Global Economy he said “According to IMF Oct 2018 outlook, Global growth is projected at 3.7 percent for 2018 and 2019 respectively. Growth in advanced economies will remain well above trend at 2.4 percent in 2018, before softening to 2.1 percent in 2019. Growth in the emerging market and developing economy group is set to remain steady at 4.7 percent in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The key challenges to Global Economy include rising trade barriers & a reversal of capital flows to emerging market economies with weaker fundamentals and higher political risk.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on South African economy. He said “According to IMF Oct 2018 outlook, South African economy expected to grow by 1.4% in 2019. The current account deficit as a % of GDP is expected to 3.5% in 2019. South Africa monetary system is well regulated. South Africa has become one of the most popular trade and investment destinations in the world.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Qatar – South Africa bilateral relationships. He said “Qatar South Africa total trade is close to $0.5bn. South Africa, is looking to double its bilateral trade with Qatar in the next few years. The major exports to Qatar are Base Metals, Machinery and Mechanical appliances, Chemicals and Vegetable products. The main imports from Qatar by South Africa are Mineral products, Chemicals and Plastics. Construction and supplies, security and logistics to food service sectors can look for opportunities in Qatar. South Africa can support Qatar's efforts to ensure self-sufficiency and to expand Qatar's industrial and manufacturing base. South African prowess in the agricultural sector is well known and could be utilized for benefit of Qatar. South Africa’s tourism sector registered a dramatic rise as many Qataris spent their holidays there. The total number of South African expats in Qatar crossed the 6,000 mark. ”

On Qatar economy, Dr. R. Seetharaman said “Qatar expected to grow by 2.7% in 2018 and 2.8% in 2019 respectively.  Qatar is planning to increase its LNG production capacity from 77Million tonnes per Annum (MTPA) to 110 MTPA.  Qatar’s reserves are more than twice of its GDP and in terms of financial stability Qatar is strong, stable and functional. In response to the economic blockade Qatar has emerged strong and has brought various reforms to transform itself into a self-reliant economy. The 2018 budget assumes the same conservative oil price of $45/barrel as used for the 2017 budget. Qatar National Vision focuses on four pillars 1) Human Development 2) Social Development 3) Economic Development and 4) Environmental Development. In recent times Qatar’s long-term issuer ratings have been changed from negative to stable by Moody’s Investors Service, which affirmed the long-term issuer and foreign-currency senior unsecured debt ratings at Aa3. According to Moody’s assessment, Qatar can withstand the economic, financial, and diplomatic boycott by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt in its current form, or with possible further restrictions, for an extended period of time without a material deterioration of the sovereign’s credit profile.”