QATAR – A COUNTRY OF GREAT SUBSTANCE & SUSTAINABILITY

Dr. R. Seetharaman, Chief Executive Officer of Doha Bank, gave a speech on ‘New World Order and Allied Impact’ on 4th July 2017 at the European University, Geneva. It was well attended by students, professors and management staff of the University.

During the speech, Dr. R. Seetharaman, highlighted the key strengths of Qatar economy, which contributes to it becoming a country of great substance and sustainability. He said, “The phenomenal growth story of Qatar becoming one of the richest country in the world, who will also be hosting the FIFA 2022 Football World Cup, is nothing short of legendary. Qatar has marked its importance on the global economic map by its long term vision and development goals which have been pursued tirelessly. Every sector of Qatar is being given the spurt needed to develop quantitatively as well as qualitatively. Under the visionary leadership of its legendary leaders, this country has planned its development in the most pragmatic way. The Qatar National Vision 2030, envisions the creation of a knowledge based economy that has a strong foundation of social, cultural, environmental and human development. Qatar has transformed itself as an investment friendly country to face the competition effectively and has emerged as an attractive investment destination. Opening up of real estate, capital market and financial sectors, huge investment in developmental activities and fund availability for infrastructure creation, have all contributed to Qatar becoming more and more attractive than other countries. Qatar economy is sustainable in the long term. Qatar also has ‘AA-‘ long-term rating from S&P, implying that it is a resilient economy. ”

On the Qatar Financial Services industry, Dr. R. Seetharaman said, “Qatar’s banking and financial sector has matured to be second to none in terms of governance, products, service quality, technology and regulatory framework. The establishment of Qatar Financial Center (QFC) brings Qatar prominently onto the global financial map. QFC is geared up as a global destination due to competitive infrastructure, low cost, low risk and low tax environment combined with huge project finance opportunities. ”

Adding further, Dr. R. Seetharaman provided a recap of the global financial crisis, the global regulatory reforms that followed, euro crisis & US Debt ceiling issue, currency wars and trade wars, emerging economies, shadow banking and trends in financial services. Dr. R. Seetharaman, provided his insights, “Taking the recent economic developments such as Federal Reserve rate hikes, GCC VAT implementation, GCC sovereign Bond issuances etc., into consideration, we need to anticipate what policy shifts could do for the world and regional economic outlook. There are risks associated with political uncertainty, trade frictions and adverse effects of a rising dollar. The capital rules for Banking sector getting redefined and the financial markets are getting more volatile on account of the changing dynamics. Thus, we are entering a new stage of international global relations where national policies could shape how globalization eventually develops.”

On the shift from Digital Banking to Digital Eco-System, Dr. R. Seetharaman said, “Research reports, suggest that by 2025, there would be more than 100 billion connected devices, each with a dozen or more sensors collecting data. A trillion-sensor economy is expected to drive a data revolution which cisco estimates will generate USD 19 trillion new value. The Digital Eco-system of the future would be supported by the following technological innovations – Fintech, Internet of Things, Block Chain, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation etc. It is time for Qatari Financial Services industry to embrace these key developments and capitalize on the opportunities.”

To conclude, Dr. R. Seetharaman said, “The business opportunities in Qatar are tremendous considering the Qatar Government’s initiatives in opening the financial center for trade and State of Qatar’s ability to continuously come out with big size infrastructural and industrial projects focusing towards investment opportunities. MSCI upgraded Qatar Indices to ‘Emerging Market’ status leading to billions of dollars in capital flows from active and passive fund managers into the markets. In line with its efforts of setting up an Energy City, Qatar will take prominence soon as the Energy Capital of the world. All of the factors mentioned above make the State of Qatar a global destination. It is important to note that Qatar has got a great history of financial stability. It has got solid underlying economic fundamentals. Social transformation and economic transformation initiatives taken by Qatar as a nation are world class and will help grow Qatar further and further.”