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From left: Sheikh Mohamed bin Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Yousuf Al Jaida and Prashant Kumar at a press conference at the Qatar Businessmen’s Association office yesterday. (Abdul Basit)
By MOHAMMAD SHOEB
DOHA: The non-hydrocarbon sector that holds the key to Qatar’s economic diversification effort has been forecast to perform better than the energy sector in the current quarter (Q1 of 2013).
A prominent Dubai-based market research body, in its quarterly business optimism index survey on Qatar, says transport and communications on one hand, and trade hospitality and manufacturing sectors on the other might take the cake this quarter in performance.
Dun & Bradstreet South Asia Middle East Ltd (D&B), in association with the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) yesterday released the Business Optimism Index (BOI) Survey on Qatar for Q1 of 2013.
“As observed in the past two quarters, we continue to see high optimism (particularly) among businesses in transport and communications,” Prashant Kumar, Associate Director D&B, told reporters.
Releasing the findings of the survey, he added: “It also reflects rising optimism levels in trade and hospitality as well as the manufacturing sectors.”
Kumar pointed out that business sentiments in the non-hydrocarbons sector units had improved in Q1 of this year over the previous quarter while sentiments for the hydrocarbons sector have remained almost the same (as the previous quarter).
The composite score for the hydrocarbon sector for Q1 2013 stands at 15 versus 17 in Q4 2012. The BOI for the net profits parameter has declined to 20 in Q1 2013 from 48 in the previous quarter while that for the level of selling prices has gained 22 points to 12 in Q1 2013.
The BOI for the number of employees parameter stands at 15 from 40 in Q4 2012. While the index for the non-hydrocarbon sector stands at 45, which is seven points higher compared with the value in Q4 2012.
The BOI index survey findings for Q1 2013 were released in a press conference hosted in partnership with the Qatari Businessmen’s Association (QBA). The survey results indicate that the Qatari business community remains cautiously optimistic despite global economic uncertainties.
“The hydrocarbon sector optimism index stands at 15 compared to 17 in Q4 2012. On the other hand, non-hydrocarbon sector optimism has improved in Q1 2013 from the previous quarter. As observed in the last two quarters, we continue to see high optimism among businesses in transport and communications. The survey also reflects rising optimism levels in Trade and Hospitality as well as the Manufacturing sectors,” added Kumar.
Yousuf Al Jaida, Director, Strategic Development at QFCA said: “Despite the challenging global economic environment, Qatari businesses sentiment is generally optimistic for the first quarter of 2013. The Business Optimism Index captures four points growth in optimism in the financial services sector.”
Sheikh Mohmad bin Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, member of Qatari Businessmen’s Association, said: “Qatar’s business community is delighted to see continuous optimism in Qatar’s growth. This growth specifically in the private sector and non-hydrocarbon sectors reflect the stable measures and steps that Qatar is directed towards, aiming at diversifying the income resources and realising the vision of the Emir, H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and maintaining a sustainable growth in the long run.”