Doha Bank Hosts Event “Qatar, Land Of Opportunities” A Robust Knowledge Sharing Emphasizing on Qatar’s Economy, Climate Change, and Sustainability Development for it’s Long Term Prosperity

Qatar Land of Opportunities

Doha Bank showcased Qatar’s West Bay skyline using Augmented reality through it’s snapchat application and 40th Anniversary logo.

Doha Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in Qatar, held a knowledge sharing session titled “Qatar – Land of opportunities” on 29th September 2019 at Sheraton Hotel, Doha, Qatar.

The event was organized under the patronage of H.E Sheikh Fahad Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al Thani, Chairman and H.E Sheikh Abdul Rehman Bin Mohammad Bin Jabor Al Thani, Managing Director of Doha Bank. The Board of directors attended as did several diplomats, dignitaries and prominent members of the Qatari and Expat community.

The knowledge sharing session included a panel of esteemed speakers and was facilitated by Dr. Seetharaman, CEO, Doha Bank. The event was kicked off by a key note speech given by Dr. Seetharaman and the main speakers at the event were Mr. Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO of Qatar Financial Centre Authority, Mr. Rashid Ali Al-Mansoori, CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange, Mr. Nasser Al-Ansari, Chairman of Just Real Estate and Dr Yousef Alhorr, Founding Chairman of GORD (Gulf Organization of Research and Development).

Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank as part of his key note, shared insights on the Qatar and global economy. He stated that “According to IMF July 2019, global growth is forecast at 3.2 percent in 2019. Advanced economies, growth is projected at 1.9 percent in 2019. The emerging market and developing economy group is expected to grow at 4.1 percent in 2019. There is escalation in trade tension between the two largest economies US and China in recent times and has contributed to volatility in financial markets. The risk of recession has also increased”.

Dr. Seetharaman showcased the various developments in Qatar since the beginning of the blockade and how Qatar had managed the current situation. He stated “Qatar’s overall GDP growth is projected to reach 2.6 percent in 2019. Qatar’s banking sector remains sound. Foreign liabilities withdrawn in the immediate aftermath of the diplomatic rift have been partially replaced with greater attention being paid to the diversity of funding sources and deposit maturity structure.” He showcased comments on Climate change by Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al- Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar at 74th Session of the General Assembly of the UN. Climate change is also one of the key challenges faced by Global economy and Qatar has emphasized sustainable development as part of it Vision 2030. He highlighted the developments in hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon segment, free zones, new investment law, real estate law, PPP Law, food security and tourism. He also provided insight on key financial market updates of Qatar.

Mr. Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO of Qatar Financial Centre Authority opened his speech with a beautiful description of Qatar—“small, rich and ambitious”. He shared an insightful presentation covering the economic growth, GDP, key economic indicators covering imports, exports, L&G production, inflation and other key performance indicators. He also shared an insightful overview of the Financial sector, international reserves and deposits, NR deposits and noted that the country has bounced back to desirable stable ratings by the various rating agencies echoing their confidence in Qatar as a safe and stable place for investment by the international financial community. He concluded with his positive views on the country banks and how well Qatar is poised with the increasing trade surplus and progressive measures that will continue to bolster and grow Qatar’s financial health and economic growth.

Mr. Rashid Ali Al-Mansoori, CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange outlined four key points as part of his presentation. He shared context of his recent business meetings and industry conference in the US where also heard several prominent CEO’s and business leaders echo the two key points as part of his overall message “Take Risks” and “You will never have all the answers to all the Questions”. He further went on to share his outlined approach around four key strategies a) increase our offering in the stock market (more listings etc), b) Enhance smarter regulation (not just harsher regulation) to make Qatar a more desirable place for international investment, c) Local asset management to be more active in the market, d) Promoting our market more to increase awareness through roadshows and other marketing initiatives.

Mr. Nassar L Ansari, Chairman, Just Real Estate shared a very compelling and candid dialogue summarizing, that whilst many people are speculating and have doubts in the market, the opportunities are getting greater and greater. Post blockade, the country has taken many measures to become more resilient to avoid any potential crisis. They have demonstrated a greater appetite for foreign ownership, where the Govt of Qatar has opened up doors for international companies to own their offices and real estate. The Govt has taken measures that would enhance the welfare of Expats and Qataris, thereby generating more jobs and creating a favorable environment for more white collar expats to come to Qatar. Furthermore, the connectivity of Metro will positively impact lifestyle and travel times where more and more people are comfortable living in areas that might not be right next to their work location. His message also encapsulated the sentiment that Today’s customer is more wiser and sophisticated and the real estate developers need to adapt to the customer needs. He concluded by sharing that it is a buyers market for now but it will not stay like this forever and this is a good limited time opportunity for buyer investors to take advantage of the market dynamics.

Dr. Yousef Alhorr, founding chairman of GORD (Gulf Organisation of Research and Development) delivered a ground breaking presentation on the Climate actions and the Carbon markets in Qatar, the opportunities and it’s impacts. Dr Yousef started by sharing the mission and agenda of GORD, a non profit subsidiary of Qatari Diar. He shared that the state of Qatar has become an active partner in the international community for climate change. It is doing so by seeking to regulate carbon pricing as a means of reducing emissions and driving investments towards cleaner options. It is also organizing an environment-friendly tournament and the first “carbon neutral” tournament. Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund will promote and encourage green investments activities and adopt low-carbon economic growth. Furthermore, a contribution of $100 million has been pledged to deal with the impacts of climate change. Market drivers for climate change include Qatar National Vision 2030: Aims at diversification to Low Carbon Economy, Qatar’s Ratification of UNFCCC’s Paris Climate Agreement, Qatar Bid-book Commitments for 2022 World Cup Carbon Neutral tournament and Qatar Aviation Sector’s Pledge to ICAO for Carbon Emissions Reduction. He went on to explain the GHG (greenhouse gas) supply and demand emission dynamics.

Dr. Yousef, also talked about GSAS (Global Sustainability Assessment System) which GORD has developed, based on extensive research. GSAS is a performance-based rating system to assess the sustainability merits of buildings and infrastructure projects taking into consideration the region’s specific environment and ecological aspects. FIFA has officially endorsed GSAS certifications as the key sustainability requirement for the stadiums serving the World Cup 2022 following the recommendations of third-party experts commissioned by FIFA on the review of GSAS and other international systems. He further explained the opportunities and considerations of the Carbon Market and the GCT (Global Carbon Trust), a voluntary Carbon platform and the marketplace. He summarized by sharing the overall climate action and economic impact drivers for sustainability, business opportunities, time frames (short term and long term) and outcomes and impacts.

The evening included a cake cutting ceremony by Doha Bank management, Board of Directors and speakers and a felicitation of the speakers and concluded with a sumptuous dinner.