Qatar, which remains one of the strongest macro stories in the Middle East and its broader CEEMEA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, has an “improved” economic outlook, according to HSBC Economist.
The year-to-date data point to both strengthening balances and a pickup in growth, said Simon Williams, HSBC’s chief economist for CEEMEA.
"We expect the improving outlook to build further over the remainder of our forecast period as the country prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and accelerates the next phase of its gas-fired industrialisation programme," he told HSBC’s Global Economic Outlook virtual roadshow.
The event was held at a critical time as the world looks to normalise from Covid-19 and witnessed resilience in 2021 throughout the new strains of the virus, vaccination rollouts, and worldwide disruptions.
The optimism regarding Qatar's growth was based on the efficient response to the pandemic including the strong vaccination drive and the structural reforms.
Qatar’s prudent approach to base the budget on a fiscal breakeven price of $40 per barrel, which is clearly paying dividend with the levels above $70 for most of the year, it was highlighted.
"We are very encouraged by the positive outlook for the Qatar growth story. Innovation and resilience have been key factors to drive the sense of optimism that has resulted in multiple opportunities for investment," said Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi, chief executive of HSBC Qatar.
Qatar’s outlook is also buoyed in 2022 by the World Cup and the landmark LNG (liquefied natural gas) expansion plan, he said.
In February, QatarEnergy took the final investment decision on developing the $28.75bn North Field East Project (NFE), the world’s largest LNG project, which will raise Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77mn tonnes per year to 126mn tonnes per year.
The HSBC Global Economist Outlook roadshow is an annual event, which sees HSBC economists presenting in markets around the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) an update on their outlook on the global and regional economies.