Qatar economy is strong and resilient: Minister

 19 Jun 2017 - 1:48

Qatar economy is strong and resilient: Minister

The Peninsula

All infrastructure projects and FIFA 2022 projects are running as usual and will be finished within the timeframe and some of them even will be complected before the scheduled time as happened with Hamad Stadium, said Minister of Economy and Commerce H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani. Qatar's economy is strong and resilient and has ability to deal with such crisis, he said while talking to Qatar TV, yesterday.

Qatar’s economy is strong and diversified and Qatar is the biggest exporter of GTL (Gas to liquids) products, Helium and petrochemical products. In line with Qatar National Vision nearly 70 percent of the GDP is coming from different sectors, including non-oil and gas and the private sector, he said.

He said that Qatar’s economic growth is continuing as usual and has the ability to deal with crisis whether it is local or regional or even international like the one happened in 2008, as the economy of Qatari was not affected rather became stronger.  Regarding the current unjustifiable blockade, he said: “Our plans were ready, and we directly shifted to alternative sources and now it is business as usual and all companies are running their business smoothly.”

The blockade was imposed suddenly, land, sea and air but “we dealt with it very quickly, and all commodities coming from these counties were already defined that is why we managed to import all these commodities within hours,” he said, adding “and even with better prices and quality.”

One of the strange things happened during this crisis, as many economic zones were operating as free zones, but they seized containers belonging to Qatari businessmen. The prices and rents of these containers were already paid and this measure has unveiled their false claims of being free zones, he said.

As many Qataris were running businesses and have properties in these countries and because of this siege they could not run their business and look after their properties, the minister said.

On our side, he said, we managed to solve the problem by finding alternative sources, but the negative aspect of this crisis shifted on the shoulder of the exporters from those countries.

“Qatar made strategic decision to allow private sector of the GCC countries to run business in Qatar, and accordingly thousands of companies fully owned by the citizens of these countries were running business here but now they have become victim of measures taken by their countries.”

All projects and business are running smoothly and will not be affected and rather there will be new prospective, he said, adding: “Growth will continue at the same pace, and we will push towards higher rates through greater involvement of the private sector.”

Praising the Qatari businessmen the minister said they have implemented the plan in a very smooth way showing ability to observe such sudden crisis.

All import process is running by the private sector without involvement of the government, and our role is to facilitate difficulties they could face. They are now offering initiatives to diversify the economy, and set up solutions for many possible challenges could emerge. It is great chance for this sector to prove ability to find alternatives, the minister said.

Regarding non-food materials, the minister said we have strategic stock which is enough for one year and made us feel relax and immediately started to import our needs without using the strategic stocks. As well many of the primary construction materials are made in Qatar, and there is enough stored materials to run the projects.

“I would like to assure all companies, citizens and expatriates that everything is normal including all import and export processes, air traffic to more than 150 destinations. Cargo is continues as normal, and sea transport as two route to Oman, one to India and new routes will be announced very soon,” he said.

All markets are open to receive Qatari imports and exports, the minister further said.