Posted on November 25, 2017

H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al Thani, Governor of Qatar Central Bank, has expressed confidence in the strength of Qatar’s economy in an exclusive and far-ranging interview with The Euromoney Qatar Conference.

The Governor, who will be speaking at the event in December, outlined the key factors that have enabled Qatar to thrive in 2017, even with an uncertain global economy and pressure from a diplomatic and economic blockade by neighbouring states.

“The economy has shown resilient performance in the post-economic blockade period. Macroeconomic indicators including GDP growth, trade and current account balance and inflation are all in the comfort zone. Exports and imports have shown a stable rise during July-August 2017 and total exports grew at 17.7% in August 2017 over last year. There has been no interruption to our gas exports and we have maintained the smooth supply of gas exports to our trading partners,” said H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al Thani. “Average CPI inflation during the first nine months of 2017 has been less than 1% compared with the same period last year. Driven by buoyant oil prices, we expect the current account to exhibit an improved performance during the year,” he added.

His Excellency also suggested that Qatar would be the fastest-growing economy in the region moving forward, driven by a recovery in the energy sector and existing initiatives that have been accelerated in response to the economic blockade. “Despite low global crude oil prices and a not so conducive economic environment, Qatar’s economy is projected to expand at the fastest pace in the GCC region in 2017. As per the latest report from the International Monetary Fund, real GDP growth is projected to grow at 3.1% in 2018, up from 2.5% in 2017,” he said.

Among the key projects that are helping to boost the economy, the Governor cited the opening of Hamad Port, the decision to reduce rental costs by 50% for all investors in logistics areas in southern parts of Qatar for two years, the opening of a network of express highways, logistics centers and special economic zones, and projects to support innovation-oriented entrepreneurship by young people as key factors. The Governor of Qatar Central Bank will be one of several high-profile keynote speakers on the first day of The Euromoney Qatar Conference, which runs from December 5-6, 2017, and will be opened by H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister, State of Qatar.

Other keynote speakers include H.E. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, Minister of Finance of the State of Qatar; Sarkis Yoghourtdjian, Adviser to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Group CEO of Qatar National Bank. One of the key themes of this year’s event will be “Building Innovation”, with the agenda featuring leading figures from banking and finance, experts on energy and real estate, and executives from organisations representing the innovation economy, such as financial technology companies.

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click here to read the full interview