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Qatar among world’s top competitive economies

The International Institute of Management Development (IMD) in its World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2019, has placed Qatar 10th out of 63 competitive economies worldwide, climbing four ranks from its 2018 performance in the World Competitive Yearbook.

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News Desk |

The IMD, a Switzerland based institute, culminated its annual evaluation based on certain statistical indicators from various domestic and international sources of statistics. In addition to the statistical indicators, various opinions of approximately 200 business leaders and entrepreneurs on the competitive economic position of Qatar.

Qatar in Top-Ten of the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2019

The major statistical indicators of the report included; economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure with Qatar scoring three, five, ten and forty in all four indicators respectively.

The indicators that were primarily influenced by factors such as low unemployment rate, gross fixed rate of capital investments, high GDP growth rate, trade balance to GDP, high level of efficiency and a low consumer price inflation.

The central theme of the Vision 2030 revolves around four pillars; economic advancement, social development, human security and environmental sustainability.

Dr Saleh bin Mohamed al-Nabit, President of Qatar’s Planning and Statistics Authority, while discussing the economic developments and Qatar’s National Development Strategy (2018-22) restated Qatar’s commitment to achieve goals pertinent to its economic infrastructure, private sector and social development. He further stated that it is imperative for Qatar to diversify its economy.

In addition to that, Dr. Saleh emphasized on the need to carefully analyze the report results and see how Qatar can improve especially in the realms of efficiency and infrastructure.

Qatar’s National Development Strategy – an Attempt to Diversify Qatar’s Economy

Qatar’s National Development Strategy is a crucial part of its development plan – Qatar National Vision 2030. The central theme of the Vision 2030 revolves around four pillars; economic advancement, social development, human security and environmental sustainability. The idea is to set up annual goals that are in alignment with Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030.

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Through an organized and fully-functional bureaucratic structure and enforcement mechanisms in place, Qatar has successfully reached its goals for the National Development Strategy (2011-2016) and is currently focused on its second National Development Strategy (2018-2022) that is primarily to focus on the diversification of Qatar’s economy through its energy, industry, financial and tourism sectors.

Qatar’s previous reliance on oil exports due to its obligations under OPEC had caused hindrance in its attempt to diversify its economy that could have been largely benefited from its natural gas resources. However, since the 2017 Saudi-led blockade, Qatar is now focusing on an independent economic policy that is shifting away from its oil-exporting economy.

In addition to that, Qatar has invested 5 billion USD in various industrialization projects. Tourism and communication sectors are essentially at the helm of Qatar’s development strategy and vision 2030. However, a current account deficit is expected to remain in place due to the trade imbalance cause due to increasing imports for World Cup 2022 that Qatar is set to host. This deficit is likely to balance out once the projects related to World Cup are culminated. At present Qatar is building seven state-of-the-art football stadiums to host the biggest football events in the world.

Qatar is offering 100 per cent ownership to foreign investors for developing projects in Qatar which has drastically increased foreign flow of capital into Qatar.

Qatar Airways, the national carrier of Qatar, is expected to expand its horizons with the addition of latest fleets and services. The transportation/communication sector is expected to boom further in the years to come. Moreover, the present modernization project of Qatar’s Hamad International Airport is expected to bring the latest technologies to the airport services that are expected to target an easy hassle-free day-today airport management and customer service experience. Presently, in its second phase, the Smart Airport Project is bringing facial recognition, automated luggage drop-in, digitalized passenger records to its upcoming non-physically expanded airport.

The Qatar Investment Authority and Qatar National Bank are aiming at increasing foreign reserves by attracting more foreign capital into the country. Various subsides have been introduced for foreign investors with the development new Exchange Traded Funds and various regulations that have made it easy for foreign economies to invest in Qatar.

Qatar is offering 100 per cent ownership to foreign investors for developing projects in Qatar which has drastically increased foreign flow of capital into Qatar. According to reports, 46 new companies have invested in various projects in Qatar since the reforms in laws for investment. In addition to that, Qatar is currently negotiating the addition of Qatari companies in the MSCI, emerging the market to diversify the experience of local companies in the international markets.

Read more: Qatar reaffirms its commitment to invest in Pakistan

Qatar’s top-10 ranking among global competitive economies is itself an evidence of Qatar’s rapid development in the economic development sector since the Saudi led blockade in 2017 for alleged support to terrorism; a claim Qatar firmly denies, and its stable alliance with Iran.

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