The EURO Money Qatar Conference which was co-hosted by Qatar Central Bank was held at Ritz Carlton, Doha on 9th and 10th December 2015.
H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister, State of Qatar, H.E. Mr. Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Minister of Finance, State of Qatar, His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani, QCB Governor and other key dignitaries from Qatar Government and Qatar Central Bank were present at the event.
Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank gave the key note address on 9th December 2015 on“Changing dynamics and Qatar Sustainability”.
He gave insight on global economy. He said “According to recent IMF forecast, Global growth is projected to decline from 3.4 percent in 2014 to 3.1 percent in 2015, before picking up to 3.6 percent in 2016. The decline in growth this year reflects a further slowdown in emerging markets, partially offset by a modest pickup in activity in advanced economies—particularly in the euro area. There is a risk that slowdown in emerging economies could defeat the weak advanced economic recovery. The deflation risks can also emerge on account of significant fall in oil price and other commodities thereby contribute to global slowdown. The chances of fed hiking the rates this month have increased.“
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on Qatar economy. He said” Qatar’s economy is expected to grow by more than 4.7 percent in 2015. Qatar’s GDP rose 4.8 percent in the second quarter of 2015, helped by robust growth in construction, financial services and hospitality sectors. Qatar‘s inflation was at 1.7% YOY in Oct 2015. In Qatar fiscal outlook is affected by complex impacts of lower hydrocarbon income on fiscal revenue.Hence the fiscal surplus is expected to narrow considerably in 2015 to 4.5 percent of GDP. Qatar issued 15 billion riyals of bonds in September 2015. Qatar has been ranked 14th in the competitiveness index by World Economic Forum.The key strengths of Qatar include its strong fundamentals, financial stability, resilient banking system, maturing financial markets and concerted vision and Governance.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Qatar’s role in Sustainable development and updates from COP 21 meeting. He said “The 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UNFCC was held in Doha, Qatar in Nov-Dec 2012 which came out with the “Doha Climate Gateway to forward the solutions to climate change. The State of Qatar supports the efforts of the United Nations Millennium goals, the ongoing negotiations under the UNFCC. At COP 21 Summit which is currently happening in Paris, negotiators have agreed on a blueprint deal aimed at reducing global carbon emissions and limiting global warming, a significant but far from conclusive step in the multinational effort to keep climate change in check. The final agreement is underway. Countries have agreed on International Solar Alliance in COP 21 meeting. The Global Solar Council has also been set in COP 21 meeting.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on Qatar Banking Sector and various opportunities in Qatar. He said “Qatar Banking sector lending had grown by more than 11% in 10 months till Oct 2015. The consumption, contracting and services are the key contributors to lending growth .There are further opportunities to diversify as a structured solution. It can also further tap FDI across infrastructure, services and manufacturing. The key benefits include contribution to the diversification story and economic growth, strengthen resilience to global shocks and develop Qatar into a digital economy.”
Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insighton Qatar‘s economic zones. He said “ Qatar has established the economic zones company “Manateq” to develop and operate three special economic zones that provide infrastructure in accordance with the highest international standards in order to reach new levels of economic diversity and promote the growth of the small and medium-sized companies and private sector. The upcoming economic zone ‘Um Al Houl Special Economic Zone‘s first phase of development will commence in 2016.”
In his concluding remarks he said Qatar economy is going to be sustainable on account of non-hydrocarbon diversification, amidst fall in oil prices.