*Qatar Economic Forum opens in Doha
A rise in energy prices and astute policies to support and enhance efficiency have helped Qatar maintain a strong macroeconomic outlook, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani stressed on Tuesday in his speech at the Second Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg.
"Qatar's gross domestic product (GDP) growth outlook in 2022 is forecast to be 4.9%," His Highness the Amir told the QEF, according to an unofficial translation of his speech provided by Qatar News Agency (QNA).
"This is due to the rise in energy prices and the positive impact of the policies and procedures adopted by the State with the aim of supporting the economic sectors, enhancing the private sector's production capacity."
His Highness the Amir yesterday patronised the opening of the forum, which is being held under the slogan 'Equalising Global Recovery' at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha,
The opening was attended by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Namibia Hage Geingob, President of Togo Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, President of Sierra Leone Dr Julius Maada Bio, Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili and the heads of delegations of sisterly and friendly countries, QNA reported.
The opening was also attended by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani, a number of sheikhs, ministers, heads of diplomatic missions accredited to the State, senior policy makers, parliamentarians, thinkers, economists, businesspersons, media and representatives of regional and international organisations.
Observing that the rise in energy prices is short-lived and can't be maintained forever, he said: "We had passed through long periods of low energy prices, and the only compensation we got against this decline came from the rational policies and savings during the periods of high prices, for the purpose of investment and diversification of sources of income."
On economic diversification, the Amir said some legislative amendments were introduced to facilitate commercial transactions, enhance competition, protect the consumer, encourage the industrial and technological sector, support national products' competitiveness and increase foreign direct investment by allowing 100% foreign investors' ownership of companies.
"These efforts have led to a significant increase in the volume of domestic and foreign investment over the last years, especially with regard to foreign direct investment, which increased by 27% during 2021 compared to 2020. We hope this growth will continue to rise in the coming years in accordance with the adopted plans," he said.
He highlighted that Qatar and the entire region are heading for a significant historical event of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup for the first time in the Middle East region.
"We are confident that the wide participation of countries of the world in this event will not only open the prospects for strengthening international economic partnerships but will also constitute a springboard for strengthening the bridges of communication and dialogue between different peoples," he said.
Earlier, he welcomed the participants to the forum, noting that it aims to "enrich dialogue on the strategic issues that are at the forefront of priorities for the global economy, and in this context, I value the wide participation in-person attendance, hoping that this will be a true representation of turning the Covid-19 page."
"The positive health indicators have risen after lifting restrictions, recovery of trade flow, increase in public spending and rise in global demand at all levels. However, the confusion that has impacted the supply chains is still among the major factors that drive up prices, in addition to the devastating effects of the ongoing war in the European continent on Ukrainian territory.
"The pandemic has revealed the extent of the gap between the rich and poor nations, and contributed to its expansion, especially during the faltering efforts to achieve development and reduce poverty.
"The international community must adopt an approach that could translate words and goodwill into practical steps that could achieve equality in economic recovery among countries and salvage the sustainable development goals in a way that could support the poor peoples and those suffering from turmoil and wars."
His Highness the Amir said economic forecasts indicate a slowdown of growth in the global economy by about a third this year compared to last year in the light of the high rates of inflation in the long term.
This, according to him, could be a prelude to an inflationary recession the world has never seen since the period between 1976 and 1979, according to World Bank reports, when sharp rises in interest rates to combat inflation led to the economic recession of the early 1980s.
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