Having achieved a “very rapid” recovery process during the pandemic, complemented by reports of Covid-19 vaccines arriving in the country, Qatar is expected to have a “prosperous economy” in 2021, according to a top business executive.
Qatar’s health sector is “very robust,” said Dr Mohamed Althaf, director of LuLu Hypermarket, who noted that the country was able to flatten the curve, and that authorities were able to maintain a “low mortality rate” in the fight against Covid-19.
While there is also a resurgence in the global economy, Althaf, however, was quick to caution the public, saying: “I think there will be a V-shaped recovery…but people should not lower their guard. There must be cautious optimism; I believe 2021 would be fantastic year for Qatar.”
According to Althaf, certain milestones that Qatar had achieved in the previous years have factored significantly in sustaining the economy as it recovers from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, citing the state’s success in its self-sufficiency programme, among other initiatives.
“Qatar would be able to export more agriculture products…if you look at the tremendous progress Qatar has achieved in the last four years, we have almost reached near self-sufficiency in everything. If you look at Qatar’s dairy production, it is almost 100%, and now Qatar has some exportable surplus,” Althaf told Gulf Times.
Althaf said, “In the field of fisheries, we have done a remarkable job. Today, within the GCC region, Qatar has the most affordable, and is very self-sufficient. In terms of leafy vegetables and basic essentials, Qatar is making tremendous progress…for seven months in the year, we have become almost self-sufficient in all the essentials in Qatar.”
Althaf also noted that ‘Made in Qatar’ products are highly-sought after in the local market because they are fresh, readily-available, and cheaper. Locally-produced goods also save a lot on logistics, such as transportations and storage costs. That is very significant savings, particularly on food wastage, he stressed.
Althaf also lauded Qatar for its rankings in the recent Global Food Security Index, saying the country “became the number one in the region from a food security perspective because of all the initiatives that had taken place.”
“Considering the size of the country and the climatic conditions, this is a tremendous milestone for Qatar. It is a huge jump for a country of this size,” Althaf emphasised.
Althaf also praised the decision of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) to resume the process of issuing labour recruitment approvals from November 15. The process was temporarily suspended following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across all sectors here and abroad.