Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani has said the 2022 FIFA World Cup will enhance the country’s position as a leading global destination for business and investment due to its attractive legislative, regulatory, and institutional environment, as well as advanced infrastructure.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), Sheikh Khalifa said he expects the national economy to continue its growth and development after Qatar hosts the tournament, especially after the great leaps it has achieved over the past years, such as initiatives that enhance its growth process and increase global confidence.
Sheikh Khalifa said the results of hosting the World Cup are not dependent on sports only, but other aspects that are no less important, especially in the economy, as the tournament directed the world's attention to Qatar.
This attention will increase in November and December during the World Cup, providing the opportunity for investors and businessmen from different countries to learn about Qatar and its economy.
It is also an opportunity for them to discover the investment climate and the available opportunities that will enhance the Qatari economy, thus attracting more foreign investments, and enhancing the status of the country as a leading global centre for business and investment.
In response to a question about the most prominent growth drivers that will be focused on after 2022, HE Sheikh Khalifa indicated that many sectors will be developed, such as tourism, knowledge economy, agriculture, industry, and other important sectors.
He said the country's expansion in LNG production coincides with the expected growth of the economy in all sectors, especially in vital areas, such as education, health care, construction, food security, and technology, among others.
He said the World Cup will have a positive impact on Qatar’s private sector, especially in tourism and trade, which will witness significant growth, in addition to attracting more investors. He noted that restaurants, hotels, tourist resorts, stadiums, and sports facilities will play a major role in attracting tourists in the years to follow after the World Cup, constituting an important source of income for Qatar.
Sheikh Khalifa expects that Qatar will witness strong foreign cash and investment flows in the coming period as a result of positive indicators amid the economic developments the world is witnessing, which contributes to stimulating business at the local market level.
He said this will also lead to high foreign investor confidence in the Qatari economy, which will enhance Qatar's achievement of very high growth indicators that qualify it to achieve the highest levels of economic growth.
On Qatar’s support for the private sector, Sheikh Khalifa said the State has gone beyond the issue of encouragement and support and is working to remove all obstacles for the private sector to play its “hoped-for role” in development. He lauded the great support provided by Qatar to various economic sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic to alleviate the impact of the crisis on the business sectors.
“We appreciate the attention and tangible care of the state towards providing opportunities for the private sector and removing all obstacles to play its ‘hoped-for role’ in development, in addition to providing a set of incentives that continued even in conjunction with Covid-19 through the QR75bn financial support package to help the private sector overcome repercussions of the pandemic,” Sheikh Khalifa said.
He said the government’s stimulus package comes in light of Qatar National Vision 2030's interest in the private sector through diversifying sources of income and not relying on oil and gas resources, expanding support for the private sector and improving the business environment, as well as the policies of economic openness and investment promotion pursued by the state, which contributed to the increase in investments and the growth of the private sector and the expansion of its contribution to development.
Sheikh Khalifa said the expectations indicate that non-oil activities will witness a growth rate of 2.8% to 4.7% this year based on the expectations of the boom in activities related to hosting the World Cup.
He noted that non-oil activities achieved an average growth of about 2.9% during the first nine months of 2021, supported by the growth of the manufacturing, transport, and trade sectors, where manufacturing industries alone represent 8% of real GDP.