Private sector to play key role in growth: PM

December 12, 2012 - 1:23:50 am

DOHA: Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani said that private sector is set to play a bigger role in Qatar’s future economic development. The government’s ongoing reforms will continue to improve the country’s business environment and the private sector will be a key player in the country’s growth trajectory, the prime minister said formally opening   the two-day  “Euromoney Qatar Conference” here  yesterday.  

Qatar’s private sector has now greater opportunities in partnering with the public sector. The country’s decision to   diversify its economy reinforces it’s increasing role in Qatari economy, he added.

Sheikh  Jassem  noted Qatar’s position as a regional financial hub is a fillip to the private sector growth story. The country   believes its private sector is the second wing to the continued growth of Qatar’s economy, prosperity and achieving the objectives of   Qatar’s ambitious “Qatar National Vision 2030” (QNV 2030). Without the active participation of private sector, it would be difficult for the country to achieve the goals of QNV 2030.

The latest reports of various global agencies  underscores Qatar’s initiatives in creating the right environment for private businesses . The 2012 World Bank report on Doing Business ranks Qatar 36th position globally and third in the Arab region. The year 2012 saw improvement in Qatar’s position also in the ‘improved access to credit’ indicator. Its rank jumped from 138th in 2011 to 98 in 2012.

Qatar is working to build a strong and progressing economy through the establishment of advanced infrastructure to serve the various economic sectors. The strategy seeks to realise this vision through laying the institutional bases for sustainable economic growth and diversity, formulating legislative structures and preparing economic atmosphere conductive to pushing forwards the wheel of growth and productivity. This contributed to realizing many achievements during the first year of the 2011/2016 strategy. Growth rate surpassed real terms 14 percent during 2011. The current account saw a surplus of 30 percent of the GDP.. “In spite of this upswing in the economic activity, the inflation and unemployment rates remained low, at less than 2 percent and 1.5 percent respectively,” he said.

The ratings agencies have also assigned Qatar a better ranking in 2012. The Standards & Poor’s (S&P) upgraded Qatar’s long-term credit rating to “AA” from “AA minus”. Affirming Qatar’s strong economy, the Moody’s classified Qatar’s long-term bonds to “AA2” with stable outlook in September 2012, noted Sheikh Jassem.

Qatar’s recent legislative changes were also praised by  ZetiAkhtar Aziz, Governor of Bank Negara Malayisa, who spoke of the urgent requirements for greater global financial stability, and highlighted the impact of the internationalisation of financial systems on emerging economies. 

More than 600 figures from international finance gathered at the “Global Finance Re-Designed” event, which is the first in a series of initiatives organised by Euromoney and the Qatar Central Bank. 

Among the national strategies examined at the conference, Qatar was strongly praised by many of the speakers, particularly the recent moves to change legislation to position the Qatar Central Bank to oversee all banking, financial and insurance activity. 

The Peninsula