Qatar’s economy performed better than expected last year and required “minimal” government support to blunt the effects of a trade and diplomatic embargo by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries, the Minister for Economy and Commerce, HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, has said.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television in Davos, Sheikh Ahmed said government support for the economy was needed during the first few weeks of the Gulf crisis, with a focus mostly on logistics to redirect imports.
In June last year, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt cut trade and diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a land, air, and sea blockade, accusing Doha of supporting extremism and maintaining close ties with Iran. Qatar vehemently denies the charges.
Sheikh Ahmed told Bloomberg there are no signs of a quick resolution to the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) crisis. The other members of the GCC are Kuwait and Oman.
“We opened new routes, we opened new markets, and we are trading with the whole world. The world is not only these four countries,” Sheikh Ahmed said. “From an economic point of view we can live forever without those countries.”
Qatar has found support from countries around the world to keep its food supply and logistics sectors intact. The country’s reserves also helped to cushion the impact on its economy and financial system.
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