Qatar remains resilient, overcoming challenges wrought by the June 2017 economic blockade, and most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Dr Mark Mobius, one of the world’s well-known emerging market investors.

Mobius made the statement during a recently-held webinar organised by the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), and moderated by the QSE Marketing and Communication director Hussain Mohamed al-Abdullah and the QSE director of Product & Market Development, Mohsin Mujtaba.

During the webinar, Mobius, who has a strategy for emerging markets at Mobius Capital Partners, discussed his investment outlook on emerging markets with the participants, mostly QSE-listed companies, among others.

Amid an ongoing economic blockade led by four of its Arab neighbours, and the challenges wrought by the global health crisis, Mobius described Qatar’s economy as “very resilient in the face of all these difficulties and challenges.” He also noted that it was “very encouraging” to witness how the Qatari government, together with its citizens and residents, hurdled obstacles “effectively.”

In order for economies to move forward amid the pandemic, Mobius emphasised that “the ultimate solution is to end the lockdowns,” and allowing people to go places while maintaining health and safety protocols. He said: “We’re at a situation now where if the lockdowns do not end soon, there’ll be a lot of public strife globally. Governments should, as soon as possible, open up their markets. Allow people to travel and move, of course with certain safety precautions.”

Responding to al-Abdullah, who noted that Qatar released a QR75bn-financial aid to the private sector at the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Mobius lauded the government saying it was a “welcome move.” He also said while business sectors across the globe benefited from government-backed financial stimulus, countries would stand to gain from the opening of their markets.

“Government aid is not going to be sustainable. Eventually governments around the world will want to hold back on the amount of money supply they have. The Fed is already talking about the possibility of raising rates. Don’t depend on central banks to continue to feed the markets.

“And in fact, we’re living in a deflationary world, where productivity is going up and prices in real terms are going down. Given that situation, you have to really focus on margins, return on capital, and growth and earnings,” Mobius said.