Qatar’s Resilience will attract Foreign Participation in it’s Diversification

H.E. Mr. Abdalla Al-Hamar Ambassador of Qatar Embassy, Singapore Chief Guest posing a question to Dr. R. Seetharaman during the Financial Institution (FI) event at Grand Hyatt in Singapore.

Qatar’s Resilience will attract Foreign Participation in it’s Diversification

Doha Bank hosted a Financial Institutions (FI) event on 3rd August 2017 at Grand Hyatt, Singapore on the topic “Qatar – A sustainable performer “. H.E. Mr. Abdalla Al-Hamar, Ambassador of Qatar Embassy, Singapore was the Chief Guest of the Event. The event was well attended by representatives of embassies and high commissions from Kuwait, Oman, Turkey, India, Srilanka, Malaysia, South Africa, Indonesia, Brunei and Philippines besides the leading Corporates and Bankers in Singapore.

Mr. Frank Hamer, Head of International Banking, Doha Bank gave the welcome address. At the Key note address, Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank gave insight on global economies. He said “According to IMF July 2017 Outlook, economic activity in both advanced economies and emerging and developing economies is forecast to accelerate in 2017, to 2 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, with global growth projected to be at 3.5 percent. Current global growth prospects are encouraging, though the pace of growth is still weaker than desirable. Structural impediments continue to hold back a stronger recovery. Globalisation and technological change will contribute to driving economic growth and raising living standards across the globe.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Qatar economy. He said “Qatar economy is expected to grow by 3.4 percent in 2017 and will have a fiscal deficit of 7.7 percent in 2017. The Nominal GDP of close to 30% comes from Mining and Quarrying (Mainly Hydrocarbon) and remaining from Non-Hydrocarbon sectors.Net foreign currency liability of all banks (QAR 120Bn) in Qatar is more than 135% of QCB reserves. QCB reserves are more than 6 times of volatile non-resident deposit outflow (QAR14Bn) during Jun’17.Qatar has a reserve of $340 billion including assets of its Sovereign Wealth Fund. Qatar’s reserves are more than 200% of its GDP. Qatar Central Bank 3Month QIBOR which had risen sharply in June 2017 was mostly a ‘knee jerk’ reaction. With improving liquidity, interbank rates are coming down. QARUSD 6 Month Forward points have normalized after initial reactions in Jun’17, reflecting improved market confidence & sentiments. Rebound in Doha Stock market index and Qatar Sovereign bond prices reflect improving market confidence in Qatari Economy.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on key reforms in Qatar. He said “Qatar ranked 18th in ‘the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17’ and stands second in the region. A new law for Public Private Partnership (PPP) businesses in Qatar should provide an additional level of comfort to the private sector and foreign investors. In Feb 2017, Qatar issued a new law on arbitration (the “Arbitration Law”), inspired by the UNCITRAL Model Law (the “Model Law”), an international template for law on arbitration. The Arbitration Law is a positive step towards support of the arbitration process. A law governing the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is aimed at simplifying procedures for foreign investors. In terms of food security, Qatar now have many local companies that are supporting the country and it can develop these businesses further and boost its food production to provide both locally and internationally. Qatar Budget 2017 has allocated for key sectors such as health, education and infrastructure QR87.1bn (US$23.9bn) which is made up of nearly 44% of the total expenditure in the 2017.Transportation and infrastructure projects, which represented a main pillar of enhancing sustainable development, have been allocated QR42bn. (US$11.51bn).The accomplishment of the New Orbit Highway will facilitate the world cup infrastructure works as per schedule in Qatar.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Qatar – Singapore Bilateral relationships. He said “Qatar Singapore trade data is close to US$3.1 Billion. Singapore has emerged as a strategically important hub for Qatar’s LNG exports. Keppel Group, a Singapore based MNC has a Joint Venture tie up with Qatar Gas Transport Company. Qatar’s financial stability is evident and the Economic progression is sustainable. Qatar economy is opening up on account of current scenario which will give enormous opportunities for Singapore companies to participate in Qatar’s development. The key sectors includes food security, education, health care, infrastructure and logistics where Singapore companies have an edge over other global corporates. Qatar and Singapore have excellent bilateral relationships and the resilience of Qatar will further encourage Singapore’s participation in Qatar’s diversification. ”

Mr. M. Sathyamurthy, Chief Representative Officer, Doha Bank Singapore gave the Vote of thanks which was followed by Dinner.