New wave of spending seen on Qatar free zones, logistics centres: OBG
April 08 2019 09:19 PM
Oxford Business Group is set to launch 'The Report: Qatar 2019,' which showcases mega infrastructure
Oxford Business Group is set to launch 'The Report: Qatar 2019,' which showcases mega infrastructure projects taking shape in the country


* Oxford Business Group to launch 'The Report: Qatar 2019,' which showcases mega infrastructure projects taking shape in the country

A new wave of spending is expected on the development of Qatar’s free zones and logistics centres to further boost inflows of foreign capital, according to the Oxford Business Group.

Commenting ahead of the launch of OBG’s 'The Report: Qatar 2019', editor-in-chief Oliver Cornock said while Qatar’s status as the world’s biggest gas exporter has helped it to become the richest country in terms of GDP per capita income, additional strong gains by the non-oil sector are underpinning broader, solid economic growth.

“A sharp focus on industrial diversification has helped to insulate the economy, while also creating important new linkages despite the blockade,” he said.

Qatar’s efforts to move towards a knowledge-based economy and support the development of emerging sectors is mapped out in the new report from the global research and consultancy firm.

The Report: Qatar 2019 shines a spotlight on the raft of infrastructure projects taking shape, many of which are earmarked to play a key role in helping the country accommodate an influx of visitors for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and beyond.

With transport projects a major focus, OBG explores Qatar’s plans to boost connectivity across its land, air and sea networks. Other initiatives tracked include a move to roll out 5G services in the densely populated areas of the country by the end of 2020, in preparation for the next generation of ICT services.

The tourism sector is being primed for growth, in line with the country’s long-term economic development plan, Qatar National Vision 2030. The OBG report charts the “positive” effect that a decision to liberalise entry visa requirements for several source markets, including Russia, India and China, has had on visitor numbers.

It also examines the progress Qatar has made in its bid to establish and expand niche markets, such as the MICE and sports segments.

While Qatar’s diversification efforts are gathering speed, the country is also taking steps to ensure it is in a position of strength to meet growing global demand for natural gas.

OBG’s publication looks in detail at the nation’s ambitious expansion plans for the sector, which include boosting output by 43%, from 77mn to 110mn tonnes per year.

There is also coverage of the increased focus on the renewables component of Qatar’s energy mix, led by the planned development of a 500-MW solar plant that will be located west of Doha.

The Report: Qatar 2019 contains a viewpoint by His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and an interview with HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani together with a detailed sector-by-sector guide for investors.

Other high-profile personalities interviewed include HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari; HE the Governor of the Qatar Central Bank Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud al-Thani; Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani; Qatargas CEO Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa al-Thani and Public Works Authority president Saad bin Ahmad al-Muhannadi.

Jana Treeck, OBG's managing director (Middle East), added that the 2022 FIFA World Cup has helped Qatar to raise its profile on the international stage and establish itself as a rapidly developing market in the midst of diversification.

“Previously known largely for its vast gas reserves, Qatar is now globally recognised as a destination offering a wealth of investment opportunities with one of the fastest-growing economies in the region,” she said. “We expect rising inward investment and a list of infrastructure projects supported by partnerships to continue driving the country’s development forward, towards its target of becoming a knowledge-led, broad-based economy.”

The Report: Qatar 2019 marks the culmination of more than 12 months of field research by a team of analysts from OBG. The publication assesses trends and developments across the country, including those in macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and others. The report has been produced with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar Chamber and Al Sulaiti Law Firm.

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