QFC sees a “growth engine” in Asia in its expansion plan
The Qatar Financial Center (QFC) is increasingly targeting Asia, which is expected to be the engine of global growth for the next decade.
“Asia is the next growth destination because I don’t see any growth coming from Europe. There will be growth in the United States, but Asia will carry the growth levels in the next decade,” said Yousuf bin Mohamed al-Jaida, director general of the QFC Authority. a webinar on “Qatar Economic Development and Opportunities”, organized by the Bank of Doha.
Emphasizing that Asia will continue to be an important continent for Qatar; he said “we intend to invest in Asia for the future”.
Believing that Asian markets have always been “important” for Qatar, he stressed that the bulk of the country’s exports went to Asian countries.
According to the latest data from the Planning and Statistics Authority, the rebound in the country’s merchandise trade is mainly due to a strong double-digit expansion in exports, especially to Asian countries.
The Asian region accounted for over 64% of Qatar’s exports, with Japan, China and India occupying the top three niches.
In April of this year, Qatari shipments to Japan amounted to QR 2.81 billion or 13.4% of the country’s total exports, followed by China QR 2.76 billion (13.2%) , India QR 2.67 billion (12.7%), South Korea QR 2.12 billion (10.1%) and Singapore QR 1.01 billion (4.8%).
Regarding the outlook for the national economy, al-Jaida said that Qatar’s real GDP (gross domestic product) is expected to grow to third among GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries over the next two years.
“The main factors supporting growth are events such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the expected increase in oil and gas capacity and investment in infrastructure with a pandemic-driven recovery that is easing at scale. global, ”he said.
After Covid, there will be an increase in demand in several sectors, be it consumption or investment, and Qatar will be part of this global boom, he said.
Emphasizing that the economic situation has shown signs of improvement in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021; he said the purchasing managers index or PMI is above 50, signaling new orders and production are gaining momentum.
“Qatar’s economy is set on a gradual recovery,” he said, observing that first quarter indicators such as trade, business conditions and credit growth signal continued economic activity.
Projecting 2.8% to 2.9% growth this year, al-Jaida said by 2022, the economy is expected to experience “very high single-digit” growth, which will have a positive impact on the sectors. financial, consumer, retail and real estate.
“In the medium term, the hydrocarbon sector is expected to perform better due to the continued relative recovery in oil prices as well as Qatar Petroleum’s production expansion plans, which will strengthen the country’s position as a largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, ”said al-Jaida.
With the increase in the expected expansion of LNG production and the expected recovery in oil prices, the country’s current account is expected to remain “positive” over the medium-term horizon to come, he said.
In this regard, the Managing Director of the Bank of Doha, Dr R Seetharaman, said that although Qatar conservatively estimated the price of oil at $ 40 per barrel in this year’s budget, prices were on average from $ 62.5 in the first quarter and are expected to harden to $ 65 in the second quarter of this year. .
“So we will have a current account surplus and maybe also a budget surplus,” he said.