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QEF Discusses GCC’s Shift Away From Oil

Panellists tackled the experience of Qatar and Saudi Arabia in this field diversifying their economies to reduce dependence on oil and gas resources as a sole source of income….reports Asian Lite News

A panel discussion was held at the Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) under the title: “Reshaping Middle East Economies” which discussed the massive transformations the economies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have witnessed throughout the last years, especially after they made great strides in increasingly diversifying their economies to reduce dependence on oil and gas resources as a sole source of income.

Accordingly, the panellists tackled the experience of the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in this field. They reviewed the manifestations of these transformation in numbers, whether in terms of increasing the involvement of the non-oil sector in the gross domestic product (GDP) of these countries, increasing the rates of Gulf women’s engagement in development, or facilitating investment methods in those countries.

HE Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari inaugurated the panel discussion and afformed that the Qatar National Vision 2030 shaped the theme of these transformations in its economic pillar, adding that Qatar has reached an advanced stage of accomplishing this vision and set three phases, the first one focused on investment in infrastructure through Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) which included railway networks, transportation and hosting major sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

After 2022, this economic and social momentum kept focusing on the private sector and economic development centers, including human capital, education, leveraging the cutting-edge technology, environment protection based on sustainable underpinnings and developing other critical sectors, such as industry, tourism and logistical aspects, His Excellency highlighted.

HE the Minister of Finance stressed that the energy sector achieved very crucial financial revenues, and all are of foremost factors which confirm that this economic development will help the State of Qatar achieve a bright future, particularly with the targeted increase in LNG production in 2030, which will almost double the current production levels of 77 million tons of LNG annually.

In response to a question about the financial surpluses resulting from this economic boom, he pointed out that the Ministry of Finance has a financial policy framework, indicating that these surpluses will be directed accordingly, as a certain part is allocated to support the state budget, reduce public debt, support the investments of the QIA , and improve the reserves of the Qatar Central Bank. This is in addition to facing the potential for market volatility, which ensures the financial stability of the state.

He highlighted that the issue of inflation is an issue of concern to all countries of the world, and it is necessary to shed light on this economic issue and unite efforts by working with all international organizations to reduce the obstacles that exacerbate this global phenomenon, adding that the issue of financial inflation is not a worrying issue.

As for the Gulf countries, compared to the United States of America, for example, the inflation rate in the State of Qatar has reached the lowest levels in recent years. This is because of the plan in place. Of course, he said, this is a challenge for the region, and Qatar cannot exclude itself from the challenges that exist in other countries, including geopolitical issues related to conflicts and tensions, especially in Yemen, Sudan, and Palestine, affirming that these tensions pose difficulties when there is a talk about the map drawn up to achieve the vision.

HE Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mohammed Al Jadaan highlighted some achievements as part of the Saudi Vision 2030, highlighting the GCC countries’ economic diversification strategies that go beyond their oil revenues to diversified, sustainable economies that empowers the private sector and youths who know how to use technology, can be entrepreneurs and be future leaders.

His Excellency added that Riyadh managed to increase non-oil revenues over the past seven years by 37 percent from 10 percent in 2016 when the Saudi Vision 2030 was introduced. The unemployment rate upped from 12.3 percent to 7.7 percent and around 2.3 million people were employed by the private sector.

He spoke about the highly important role of tourism to help the private sector further grow as part of the country’s vision, yet he added that Saudi Arabia and the whole region is battling shipping industry challenges that need to be solved. 

HE Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB), Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, spoke about the decades-long GCC strategies to achieve economic diversification and find a unified capital for economic development.

This economic diversification and resilient policies led to an economic revolution and prosperity that found many young entrepreneurs, he added.

He added that the GCC achieved great local human capital development thanks to the wise leaderships in all GCC countries 

He added that the GCC countries were also concerned with development beyond their borders, which was manifested in financing projects worth more than $182 billion.

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Amir Opens QEF 2024

The event, powered by Bloomberg, is held under the theme “A World Remade: Navigating the Year of Uncertainty” at Katara Towers – Fairmont Doha and Raffles Doha…reports Asian Lite News

HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani patronised the opening of the 4th edition of Qatar Economic Forum. President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr. Anwar Ibrahim were present.

Also present were HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, HE Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim, a number of Their Excellencies ministers representing sisterly and friendly countries, and heads of the diplomatic missions accredited to the State, alongside high-ranking officials, parliamentarians, thinkers, economists, businessmen, media, and representatives of regional and international organisations. (QNA)

HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani made the opening address. The event, powered by Bloomberg, is held under the theme “A World Remade: Navigating the Year of Uncertainty” at Katara Towers – Fairmont Doha and Raffles Doha.

Qatar on Track

The Qatar Prime Minister said the state of Qatar has successfully navigated significant challenges, leading to the flexibility that characterizes its economy and positioning it competitively on the global stage, with efficient investment in natural resources and human energies.

The prime minister said that the Qatari economy continues to achieve indicators reflecting its stability and prosperity, adding that the gross domestic product at constant prices until the third quarter of 2023 recorded growth of about 1.6 percent and this growth coincided with improvements in financial stability indicators, with the government adopting a flexible financial plan in response to fluctuations in energy prices. He added that Qatar is on its way towards the final stages of Qatar National Vision 2030, with the government continuing to work on completing and enhancing Qatar’s diverse economic infrastructure, driven by initiatives from both the local and foreign private sectors, supported by a series of regulatory reforms and investment incentives, qualifying it to occupy an advanced position among the top 10 countries in terms of business environment.

HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani delivering the opening address

He further highlighted Qatar’s transition towards comprehensive digital transformation through increased investment in technology, innovation, and artificial intelligence. To achieve this, Qatar has allocated a package of incentives worth QR 9 billion, and the country is hosting several sessions of the “Web Summit” conference for the first time in the Middle East and Africa to enhance partnerships with major investors and exchange expertise with technology leaders worldwide. Alongside this summit, the “Startup Qatar” project was launched, with more than 250 startups registered.

He also announced the launch of the “Al Fanar” Arabic Artificial Intelligence project, which will primarily focus on collecting quality data in the Arabic language, contributing to enriching large linguistic models and preserving the Arab identity. He pointed out that the government will continue its investment in the energy sector, with Qatar expected to complete its expansion in natural gas production by 2030 through the North Field Expansion project, increasing total production to 142 million tons annually.

The prime minister expressed his pride that Qatar has become a beacon of economic opportunities for many, attracting investors from around the world, due to the foundations it provides for economic success that helps uplift the region, allowing everyone to enjoy this prosperity.

Regarding the current global challenges and crises, the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the world has barely recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic before finding itself facing wars casting heavy shadows on everyone’s lives, unfolding in various parts of the world, particularly the Russian-Ukrainian war in Europe, the Sudanese crisis in Africa, and the latest challenges in the Gaza Strip, where the humanitarian crisis has worsened, claiming the lives of thousands of innocent children, women, and elderly individuals. He emphasized that the State of Qatar was among the first to warn against the danger of the Gaza war spreading to other regions in the region, yet the world as a whole failed to prevent this, leading to the expansion of confrontations to the Red Sea, threatening international navigation and exacerbating the difficulties of global trade already suffering.

He affirmed that the multiple challenges resulting from these successive crises compel countries to work on improving economic conditions, as this contributes to creating oases of stability.

He concluded his speech by expressing hope in the ability of nations to overcome challenges, stating that in Qatar, everyone is determined to bring about change to establish a better future, looking forward to seeing new investment opportunities through the platform of this forum.


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QEF 2024: Global Leaders Due in Doha

2024 Qatar Economic Forum will gather more than 1000 global leaders, heads of state and international CEOs… writes Kaliph Anaz. Discussions at QEF will revolve around the topics like Geopolitics, Globalization, & Trade; the Energy Transition; Technology Innovation; Business & Investment Outlook and Sports & Entertainment

The oil rich Arab state of Qatar is gearing up to host the fourth edition of Qatar Economic Forum. The event will gather more than 1000 global leaders, heads of state and international CEOs. This year’s forum, under the theme ‘A World Remade: Navigating the Year of Uncertainty’, will provide a global platform for a comprehensive dialogue on the issues driving global boardroom conversations and financial markets.

The annual “Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg” (QEF), held in collaboration with Media City Qatar, will take place from May 14-16.  As the world continues to be shaped by major disruptions in technology, trade and politics, the events of 2024 have the potential to produce long-term consequences for the global economy. Discussions at QEF will revolve around the topics like Geopolitics, Globalization, & Trade; the Energy Transition; Technology Innovation; Business & Investment Outlook and Sports & Entertainment.

Current speakers include H.E. Abdulsalam Al Murshidi, President, Oman Investment Authority; Sheikha Hanadi N. Al-Thani, Chairperson, INJAZ Al Arab; Gerry Cardinale, Founder, Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer, RedBird Capital Partners; Jim Coulter, Founding Partner, Executive Chairman & Director, TPG Inc.; Brandon Gardner, Partner, Co-Founder & President, Raine; Behdad Eghbali, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Clearlake Capital Group, Bruce Flatt, CEO, Brookfield; Kenneth C. Griffin, Founder, CEO & Co-Chief Investment Officer, Citadel; Jin Liqun, President & Chair of the Board of Directors, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; Jenny Johnson, President & CEO, Franklin Templeton; Jeffrey Katzenberg, Founding Partner, WndrCo; Cindy Lim, CEO, Infrastructure, Keppel Limited; General David H. Petraeus (US Army, Ret.), Partner, Chairman of the Global Institute, KKR.; Joey Wat, CEO, Yum China; Dina Powell McCormick, Vice Chairman & President of Global Client Services & Partner, BDT & MSD, Lei Zhang, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Hillhouse Investments, Todd L. Boehly, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, Eldridge Industries, Yimei Li, CEO, ChinaAMC with more to follow.

“Bloomberg is excited to be powering the fourth iteration of QEF, which has quickly become a highlight of the global investment calendar,” said Karen Saltser, CEO of Bloomberg Media. “With an exciting agenda developed by Bloomberg’s world class editorial team, we look forward to hosting important discussions with global leaders in business and government.”

H.E. Sheikh Ali bin Abdulla bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of Qatar Economic Forum said: “Through the Qatar Economic Forum, we have established a dynamic center for global business leaders to convene, connect, and catalyze partnerships. The forum has become the nexus where visionary leaders converge to shape the future”.

He added, “We are enthusiastic about the collaborative spirit that defines this platform, where ideas flourish, and alliances are forged, propelling us towards a future of shared success and prosperity”.

The current geopolitical landscape casts a shadow over the global economy, with conflicts in Ukraine, genocidal raids in Gaza, and China’s looming threat over Taiwan sending shock waves. As nearly half of the world’s population prepares to elect their leaders, economic uncertainties abound. While China grapples with maintaining economic growth and Europe teeters on the brink of recession, the resurgence of the Trump campaign adds another layer of volatility to the global ecosystem.

Amidst these headline-grabbing crises, a significant shift in the global economic order is underway. In a world reminiscent of 19th-century resource battles, there’s a growing emphasis on assertive economic statecraft and a quest for resilient and geopolitically neutral trade partnerships. This shift is elevating the economic nexus between the Gulf, India, and Southeast Asia to newfound prominence, poised to drive global growth and optimism into the next decade.

In the Gulf region, countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are seizing this opportunity. Flush with oil and gas revenue from the energy crisis, the region’s sovereign wealth funds are vying to fill the $3 trillion liquidity gap left by Wall Street’s retreat. With global supply lines being rerouted and the epicentre of growth shifting eastward, the Gulf states are accelerating reforms and embracing openness to engage with the world on their own terms.

Against this backdrop, the fourth Qatar Economic Forum emerges as a beacon, spotlighting the burgeoning south-to-south economy and the fresh growth opportunities it offers to the global business community. By amplifying established viewpoints and emerging voices from diverse corners of the globe, the Forum aims to uncover the latest economic trends shaping a new global growth narrative.

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