Per one of the Gulf’s local media recent publications, Qatar’s competitive economy OK’d by world institutions gets this global endorsement whilst since June last year, the country is still under Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic, financial and trade links blockade with land, air and sea borders closed.
This situation is in no way a unique situation in the MENA region.
Qatar’s competitive economy gets global endorsement
Qatar’s competitive economy and its solid macroeconomic environment have again come in for praise from the World Bank Group and World Economic Forum, which ranked the country among the best in the entire MENA region.
In a recent assessment, the World Bank Group and World Economic Forum chose Qatar’s macroeconomic environment as the best in the MENA region. Globally, Qatar’s macroeconomic environment has 20th position.
Qatar is also the second-most competitive economy in the Arab world, and 25th globally in the World Bank Group – World Economic Forum rankings.
The two global institutions assessed Qatar economy based on its performance in 2015 and 2016, when the energy prices were lower, and therefore had an impact on the country’s fiscal position.
Consequently, Qatar’s fiscal situation moved from a fiscal surplus of 10.3% (in 2015) to a deficit of 4.1% of GDP (2016), while public debt had increased from 35.8% to 47.6% of GDP in the same years.
Seen against this backdrop, Qatar’s top ranking in the region and globally speaks volumes about its economic competence and solid macroeconomic environment.
Both the World Bank Group and World Economic Forum have highlighted Qatar’s strengths, which they said “lie in the country’s solid infrastructure, efficient goods markets and world class health and education facilities.”
Since 2007, the report noted Qatar has improved its performance across all the pillars of the Index, with the exception of financial market development, which is now one of the factors of “relative weakness” of Qatar’s competitiveness, together with the average level of innovation and the size of its market.
Earlier, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lauded Qatar’s strategic plans to diversify its economy away from oil and gas.
Qatar, the IMF said, has adopted “ambitious strategic plans” to diversify its economy away from oil and gas by increasing the non-oil sector’s contribution to the macro economy and reducing reliance on hydrocarbon revenues.
In its latest report on Qatar, IMF said the economic, financial impact from the illegal blockade on the country by a quartet of Arab nations is fading.
Qatar’s banking system has recovered from initial outflows and the economy is expected to grow 2.6% this year, the IMF said.
Qatar’s gross domestic product (GDP) is set to grow 2.6% this year and then average 2.7% during 2019-23, bolstered by Doha’s moves to increase liquefied natural gas production capacity by about 30%, IMF noted.
Qatar’s fiscal deficit is estimated to have narrowed to about 6% of gross domestic product in 2017 from 9.2% in 2016, the Bretton Woods Institution said.
According to QNB, the region’s largest and most reputable financial institution, Qatar’s foreign exchange reserves with the Qatar Central Bank rose 0.9% month-on-month to reach $45.2bn in June, equating to seven months of import cover.
Qatar’s bank assets grew 6.6% year-on-year in June, QNB said. Bank deposits grew 6.2% year-on-year in June, while credit growth stood at 6% year-on-year that month.
Deposits from the non-resident and public sector grew 7.1% and 8.9% month-on-month respectively in June, while the private sector declined 0.7% month-on-month.