Early vaccine rollout and government’s additional liquidity and financial schemes to cushion the impact of the Covid-induced shock will help Qatar economy recover and gain growth trajectory later this year.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the improvement in the relationship between GCC countries following the Al Ula Accord will also help Qatar economy stage a good recovery towards the second half of 2021.
“These will create better conditions, help increase the level of exchange of goods, services and also people and provide an additional source of visitors – both for tourism as well as for the FIFA World Cup 2022 from the region,” Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF, told Gulf Times at a virtual media event recently.
Recently, Qatar crossed a milestone by securing the ninth rank in the world in the proportion of people who have received Covid-19 vaccination.
Qatar Cabinet at its last meeting expressed satisfaction over the progress of the Covid-19 vaccination in Qatar, which according to PHCC crossed 1,06,2250 doses of vaccine administration since the start of the vaccination campaign.
Qatar like other GCC countries was affected last year by the Covid-19 pandemic and the sudden drop in oil prices as well as also in demand.
“Qatari Government and the authorities here also took certain number of important measures, to extend additional social support, increase the fiscal stimulus as well as also an important package of support to the private sector through the banks. These include additional liquidity and additional financial schemes that had cushioned the impact of the shock on the economy, Azour said.
“In addition to the recovery in the non-oil sector, the oil sector with the development of new oil and gas fields will also contribute to the improvement in economic outcome for 2021 and also for the medium term,” he noted.
In its earlier forecast IMF said Qatar will return to growth path this year, aided by domestic demand and higher gas production, while its ambitious structural reforms underpin the economic diversification to enhance long-term potential growth.
A gradual recovery – with real GDP (gross domestic product) growth projected at 2.7% in 2021 – will be supported by increasing gas production and the rebound in domestic demand,” the Bretton Woods’ institution said.
Highlighting that risks to the outlook are mainly driven by the global outlook and titled to the downside, it said they stem from uncertainty about the global growth recovery, success and speed of vaccination and pandemic resolution, and oil prices, whose outlook depends on the global recovery.
The upside risks to the outlook arise from a successful resolution of the regional diplomatic rift and a stronger-than-envisaged global growth rebound, it said.
Meanwhile, the extension of the government’s additional support packages under the Covid-19 National Response Guarantees Program is expected to help SMEs and other private businesses mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
The additional support packages for sectors affected by the closures resulting from the Covid-19 precautionary measures were announced by the Cabinet at its last meeting.