Business

Sunday, April 21, 2024 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.

Business

HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, Qatari Businessmen Association Chairman.

Amir's Asia tour reflects Qatar's openness to global markets, says QBA chairman

Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) Chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani affirmed that the tour of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, to the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Nepal comes within the framework of Qatar's openness to all global markets, including those of the aforementioned countries.HE Sheikh Faisal said in a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) on this occasion that the three stated countries represent more than 300mn people, making it imperative to co-operate and strengthen relations with them, especially since these relations date back four decades of bilateral co-operation.He explained that trade exchanges with these three countries reached an average of QR9bn over the past five years, with Bangladesh accounting for the lion's share due to its signing of long-term contracts with Qatar for the supply of natural gas, followed by the Philippines with about QR1bn.Sheikh Faisal concluded his statement by saying that the majority of Qatar's exports to these countries relate to energy products in general, in addition to iron and aluminium. Nearly all imports from these countries are handled by the private sector, where clothing of various kinds is supplied from Bangladesh; agricultural products such as bananas, pineapples, and food items from the Philippines, and carpets are imported from Nepal.

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Damage in Israeli air base after Iran attack

Israeli army footage of what it says is the damage caused by the Iranian attack on the Nevatim Air Base, which was launched late Saturday in retaliation for a deadly air strike widely blamed on Israel that destroyed its consular building in Syria's capital early this month. AFP

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Six months of bloodshed: The toll on Gaza’s children

The bloodiest ever Gaza war which broke out over six months ago has taken an appalling toll on children. NGO Save the Children estimates that some 26,000 children have been killed or injured in the war, 17,000 have been orphaned, according to UNICEF, and 1 in 3 children under two years old in northern Gaza is suffering from acute malnutrition. In total, at least 33,207 people have been killed in the besieged Palestinian territory in Israel's retaliatory campaign for the October 7 attack, according to Hamas-run Gaza's health ministry. The unprecedented Hamas raid on southern Israel resulted in the deaths of 1,170 Israelis and foreigners, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures. AFP

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Gazans struggle to secure flour for daily bread

"I spent the night on Kuwait Roundabout to secure this bag of flour", says a Palestinian in Gaza City carrying a bag of flour he managed to get from an aid truck. A UN-backed report warned that half of Gazans are experiencing "catastrophic" hunger, with famine projected to hit the north of the territory unless there is urgent intervention. AFP


IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva holds a press briefing on the Global Policy Agenda to open the IMF and World Bank’s 2024 annual Spring Meetings in Washington on Thursday.

IMF chief says productivity, Chinese consumer spending key to boosting global growth

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva bemoaned the slow pace of global growth on Thursday, saying that Europe needed to do more to boost productivity and China should work to unleash greater consumer spending.Georgieva told a news conference during the IMF and World Bank spring meetings in Washington that a number of factors are converging to hold back growth in Europe and China, from ageing populations to sub-optimal allocations of capital, while the US has far outperformed expectations.“This is what preoccupies us these days. How can we better stem the slowdown of productivity and growth, and what we can do to reverse it?” Georgieva said.The IMF on Tuesday forecast global growth at 3.2% for 2024 — well below its 20-year pre-pandemic average of 3.8% — citing lacklustre performances in Europe and China and the impact of high interest rates and regional wars on developing economies. And asset managers are bracing for delays in rate cuts as the US Federal Reserve struggles with persistently high inflation.The IMF boosted its US growth forecast by 0.6 percentage point to an above-potential 2.7% for 2024, while cutting the forecast for the euro zone by 0.1 percentage point to 0.8%.Georgieva said the US has done a better job of harnessing technology innovation and turning it into scalable business activity. The US also has benefited from domestic energy production that has kept energy prices low and immigration that has created an ample supply of labour without too much wage inflation.Technology has not brought similar gains to Europe, she said.“We know that in Europe, there is still work to be done to unleash the power of innovation. Just comparing the cost of a patent in the US and the European Union tells you a story,” Georgieva said, referring to higher EU costs and regulations.More also can be done to raise investments in human capital to create more dynamic labour markets and better allocation of capital, she said.Georgieva said China, where domestic demand is suffering because of a property crisis brought on by over-investment, was at a “fork in the road” and should pivot away from its decades-old investment- and export-led growth model to one led by consumer spending.“The time has come to look at domestic sources for growth,” she said of China.This starts with resolving the property sector crisis to give consumers more confidence to spend, and expanding the social safety net, which would give Chinese people the “opportunity to save a bit less and spend a bit more,” the IMF chief said.US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on a recent trip to China made similar arguments that Beijing should work to boost domestic consumption, while warning that the US would not accept Chinese efforts to flood global markets with exports of electric vehicles and solar products as a way to revive growth.Georgieva also called for more fiscal restraint among IMF member countries because fiscal capacity has been exhausted in most countries by the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent cost-of-living crisis, with heavy debt burdens more difficult to carry in a high interest rate environment. This message was echoed by the IMF’s Fiscal Monitor on Wednesday, which said the US and other major economies were spending too much during election years.“In a world where crisis keeps coming, countries must urgently build fiscal resilience to be prepared for the next shock,” Georgieva said.

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