COV­ER­ING ALL BASES

QATAR'S AN­NUAL BUD­GET FOR THE CAL­EN­DAR YEAR 2018 IS NOT ONLY PROMIS­ING BUT HAS EV­ERY­THING THAT IS NEEDED TO CON­TINUE WITH ITS PLANNED IN­FRAS­TRUC­TURE PROJECTS WITH­OUT ANY HITCH DUE TO STA­BIL­IS­ING OIL PRICES.

Qatar Today - - INSIDE THIS ISSUE - BY VL SRINI­VASAN

Qatar's an­nual bud­get for 2018 is not only promis­ing but has ev­ery­thing that is needed to con­tinue with the coun­try's planned in­fras­truc­ture projects with­out any hitch due to sta­bil­is­ing oil prices.

THEoil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries in­clud­ing those which are not part of the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Petroleum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries (OPEC) agreed in Novem­ber 2017 to freeze oil pro­duc­tion for another year. This means oil prices would hover around $60 per bar­rel dur­ing 2018 which should be a big re­lief to the Qatari govern­ment, which has fi­nalised the bud­get ex­pect­ing oil prices to be $45 per bar­rel. In other words, rev­enues gen­er­ated from high oil prices will re­duce the bud­get deficit.

Spend­ing is ex­pected to to­tal QR203.2 bil­lion, up by 2.4% from the bud­get plan for 2017, with the deficit de­clin­ing by 1.1% to QR28.1 bil­lion. Of this, QR93 bil­lion (45.8%) will be spent on ma­jor projects while QR22.7 bil­lion has been ear­marked for the health sec­tor, rep­re­sent­ing 11.2% of the to­tal ex­pen­di­ture in 2018. The ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor has also been ac­corded im­por­tance with an al­lo­ca­tion of QR19 bil­lion, up by 19% com­pared to 2017.

While rev­enue is to the tune of QR175.1 bil­lion, up by 2.9% in 2017, on ac­count of an ex­pected in­crease in nonoil rev­enue, the deficit, which will be fi­nanced through the is­suance of debt, is ex­pected to be QR28.1 bil­lion, down by 1.1% from QR28.4 bil­lion in 2017.

Trans­porta­tion and other in­fras­truc­ture projects such as the Metro Lusail Light Train, Al Bus­tan High­way Or­biter Ex­press­way, Al Rayyan/Dukhan road and Al Khor coastal road have been provided with QR42 bil­lion, ac­count­ing for 21% of the to­tal ex­pen­di­ture. Keep­ing the 2022 FIFA World Cup in mind, the govern­ment has al­lo­cated QR11.2 bil­lion for com­ple­tion of new sta­di­ums which are un­der var­i­ous stages of con­struc­tion.

The State also plans to award con­tracts worth $29 bil­lion (over QR100 bil­lion) to the pri­vate sec­tor in or­der to en­cour­age di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, and fo­cus on sup­port­ing food se­cu­rity projects, small and medium en­ter­prises, and the de­vel­op­ment of in­fras­truc­ture in eco­nomic zones and free­trade zones.

This is in ac­cor­dance with the di­rec­tives of The Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Ha­mad Al Thani to sup­port and en­cour­age the pri­vate sec­tor and in­crease its con­tri­bu­tion to the process of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try.

Nearly QR12.5 bil­lion has been al­lo­cated to land de­vel­op­ment in­clud­ing wa­ter and elec­tric­ity net­works, sew­er­age, roads and other re­lated in­fras­truc­ture for Qataris be­tween 2018 and 2020.

The 2018 bud­get has al­lo­cated funds for the de­vel­op­ment of around 3,000 houses. This year's bud­get also pro­vides for the de­vel­op­ment of lo­gis­tics, eco­nomic and free-trade zones, as well as sup­port for food se­cu­rity projects and agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion.

For salaries and wages, QR52.2 bil­lion was set apart for this year's bud­get, up by 8.8% on (QR48 bil­lion) in 2017. This in­crease is due to the open­ing of sev­eral new schools and ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­i­ties, along with new health­care cen­tres and hos­pi­tals, in ad­di­tion to ex­pan­sions in some pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties.

A dif­fer­ent year

Soon af­ter the eco­nomic block­ade on June 5, Sheikh Tamim, in his ad­dress to the na­tion, said that 2017 dif­fered from the pre­vi­ous years for the Qatari econ­omy, as it had been strong de­spite the chal­lenges.

“We are called upon to open our econ­omy to ini­tia­tives and in­vest­ments so that we can pro­duce our food and medicine, diver­sify our sources of in­come and achieve

“WE ARE CALLED UPON TO OPEN OUR ECON­OMY TO INI­TIA­TIVES AND IN­VEST­MENTS SO THAT WE CAN PRO­DUCE OUR FOOD AND MEDICINE, DIVER­SIFY OUR SOURCES OF IN­COME AND ACHIEVE OUR ECO­NOMIC IN­DE­PEN­DENCE IN BI­LAT­ERAL RE­LA­TIONS, FROM CO-OP­ER­A­TION WITH OTHER STATES, IN OUR GEO­GRAPH­I­CAL EN­VI­RON­MENT AND THROUGH­OUT THE WORLD, AND ON THE BA­SIS OF MUTUAL IN­TER­ESTS AND MUTUAL RE­SPECT.” HH SHEIKH TAMIM BIN HA­MAD AL THANI The Emir State of Qatar

our eco­nomic in­de­pen­dence in bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, from co-op­er­a­tion with other states, in our geo­graph­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment and through­out the world, and on the ba­sis of mutual in­ter­ests and mutual re­spect,” he said.

The Emir also stressed that he had di­rected sev­eral times to fol­low a policy of eco­nomic open­ness to in­vest­ment and di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of sources of in­come, as at this stage it is no longer a mat­ter of lux­ury, but a ne­ces­sity.

He said that he had di­rected the govern­ment to achieve this vi­sion, in­clud­ing eco­nomic open­ness, re­mov­ing bar­ri­ers of in­vest­ment and pre­vent­ing mo­nop­oly in the frame­work of build­ing the na­tional econ­omy and in­vest­ing in de­vel­op­ment, espe­cially hu­man de­vel­op­ment be­sides in­vest­ing the gas rev­enues of re­cent in­ven­tions for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Min­is­ter of Fi­nance, HE Ali Sha­reef Al Emadi, stressed that the di­rec­tives of the Emir have been ad­hered to in or­der to in­crease the efficiency of cur­rent and op­er­a­tional ex­penses, and pro­vide all nec­es­sary funds to com­plete the im­ple­men­ta­tion of ma­jor projects ac­cord­ing to ap­proved plans.

The goal is to achieve sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in its eco­nomic, so­cial, hu­man and en­vi­ron­men­tal di­men­sions, as en­vi­sioned by Qatar Na­tional Vi­sion 2030. The bud­get also fo­cuses on pro­vid­ing sup­port for food se­cu­rity projects, sup­port­ing and ex­pand­ing small and medium ven­tures and de­vel­op­ing in­fras­truc­ture in the eco­nomic and free zones.

De­spite the neigh­bour­ing coun­tries im­pos­ing an un­fair block­ade on Qatar since June 2017, the Qatari econ­omy has main­tained its mo­men­tum and its out­look re­mained positive. “Qatar con­tin­ues to make sig­nif­i­cant progress in re­duc­ing its deficit, which re­sulted from low fuel prices and high costs of de­vel­op­ment projects. Also, the un­just block­ade has con­trib­uted to stim­u­lat­ing our na­tional strat­egy which is geared to­wards di­ver­si­fy­ing the coun­try's econ­omy.”

“Rev­enues are ris­ing sig­nif­i­cantly, and the rea­sons for this in­crease should be at­trib­uted to the govern­ment's ef­forts to diver­sify its eco­nomic en­deav­ours. The govern­ment al­lo­cates more funds to ma­jor projects in a va­ri­ety of sec­tors, which con­trib­utes to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment ef­forts in Qatar,” he added.

A good be­gin­ning

The coun­try's econ­omy had an aus­pi­cious start in 2018 with the merg­ing of RasGas and Qatargas into a sin­gle en­tity which come into force in Jan­uary. This not only helped in sav­ing QR2 bil­lion but also made the new com­pany Qatargas the big­gest LNG ex­port­ing firm in the world with one vi­sion, one man­age­ment sys­tem and one busi­ness cul­ture.

Qatargas op­er­ates 77 mil­lion tonnes/year of liq­ue­fac­tion ca­pac­ity in 14 trains at Ras Laf­fan In­dus­trial City and has a char­tered fleet of 70 LNG car­ri­ers.

Even the cap­i­tal mar­ket ex­perts are op­ti­mistic about the per­for­mance of the stock ex­change in 2018, con­firm­ing its abil­ity to achieve the high­est growth rates on av­er­age. This comes as a re­sult of a num­ber of fac­tors that will stim­u­late the mar­ket, such as the 2018 State bud­get and the promis­ing num­bers and in­di­ca­tors that pro­vide op­ti­mism and en­hance con­fi­dence in the per­for­mance of the Qatari econ­omy in the next phase.

Ha­mad Port, which be­came op­er­a­tional in Septem­ber 2017, is ex­pected to give fur­ther fil­lip to the coun­try's strong and ro­bust econ­omy as it is one of the big­gest and new­est ports in the Middle East. Its es­ti­mated ca­pac­ity is 7.5 mil­lion con­tain­ers and the port au­thor­i­ties have signed sev­eral agree­ments with ma­jor ship­ping lines to link Ha­mad Port with in­ter­na­tional ports in Turkey, China, Tai­wan, Oman, Pak­istan, Singapore, Kuwait and Aus­tralia.

Ex­hi­bi­tion ‘Made in Qatar' was held to open new markets, pro­mote mutual trade growth with many coun­tries, en­able lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers and busi­ness­men to iden­tify these markets and give them op­por­tu­ni­ties to share ex­pe­ri­ences, in­for­ma­tion and tech­niques that can ben­e­fit the busi­ness sec­tor in the coun­try.

The re­sults of these ini­tial ef­forts were the emer­gence of new fac­to­ries and in­dus­tries in Qatar and the in­crease in the num­ber of ex­ist­ing in­dus­trial es­tab­lish­ments reg­is­tered in the in­dus­trial reg­is­ter at the Min­istry of En­ergy and In­dus­try to about 730 in­dus­trial es­tab­lish­ments with in­vest­ments ex­ceed­ing QR260 bil­lion.

“QATAR CON­TIN­UES TO MAKE SIG­NIF­I­CANT PROGRESS IN RE­DUC­ING ITS DEFICIT, WHICH RE­SULTED FROM LOW FUEL PRICES AND HIGH COSTS OF DE­VEL­OP­MENT PROJECTS. ALSO, THE UN­JUST BLOCK­ADE HAS CON­TRIB­UTED TO STIM­U­LAT­ING OUR NA­TIONAL STRAT­EGY WHICH IS GEARED TO­WARDS DI­VER­SI­FY­ING THE COUN­TRY’S ECON­OMY.” HE ALI SHARIF AL EMADI Min­is­ter of Fi­nance State of Qatar

In­dus­try hails bud­get

The bud­get has been wel­comed by captains of in­dus­try and ex­perts who said that it re­as­sured the healthy state of the Qatari econ­omy and the com­mit­ment to achieve long-term plans set out for the coun­try.

Gulf Ware­hous­ing Com­pany (GWC) Group CEO Ranjeev Menon said that a ma­jor amount has been ded­i­cated for com­ple­tion of ma­jor projects in health­care, ed­u­ca­tion, and trans­porta­tion/in­fras­truc­ture, in the lead-up to the 2022 World Cup.

“The al­lo­ca­tion of QR42 bil­lion for trans­porta­tion and in­fras­truc­ture, which ac­counted for 21% of to­tal ex­pen­di­ture, will di­rectly im­pact in­fras­truc­ture projects while the pri­vate sec­tor stands to gain in re­sponse to the govern­ment's ini­tia­tives to diver­sify the econ­omy, which all boils to­wards ac­tu­al­iz­ing Qatar Na­tional Vi­sion 2030,” he said.

Akber Khan, who is Se­nior Di­rec­tor, Asset Man­age­ment Group, at Al Rayan In­vest­ment noted that while bud­geted rev­enues and ex­pen­di­ture for 2018 were very sim­i­lar to that of 2017, there were sev­eral no­table points in this year's bud­get.

In­fras­truc­ture spend­ing is set to re­main el­e­vated, con­tin­u­ing at an av­er­age of QR182 mil­lion ($500 mil­lion) a week. This is com­bined with an al­most 10% jump in the wage bill to partly ac­com­mo­date new govern­ment schools, new univer­sity fac­ul­ties and a raft of new health­care re­lated projects.

“The bud­get as­sumes a QR28 bil­lion deficit tak­ing an av­er­age oil price of $45 over the year. While oil may show volatil­ity dur­ing 2018, OPEC and Rus­sia's de­ter­mi­na­tion to re­strict sup­ply to sup­port prices sug­gests a much higher out­come. As­sum­ing spend­ing re­mains as planned, $65 (oil price) would lead to an al­most QR30 bil­lion sur­plus,” he said.

The global econ­omy en­joy­ing syn­chro­nised growth is a key driver in help­ing oil prices, and he ex­pects another positive year for oil in 2018. While this will di­rectly ben­e­fit few Qatari listed stocks, the govern­ment will be boosted by in­creased hy­dro­car­bon rev­enues, of­fer­ing it the op­tion to add to spend­ing if it chooses.

“Height­ened in­fras­truc­ture spend as bud­geted will ben­e­fit the banking sec­tor which will be called upon to fund a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of this spend­ing. Con­sumer­re­lated sec­tors may start to see some re­lief as the pop­u­la­tion con­tin­ues to ex­pand and some of the ini­tia­tives to bring back tourists start to bear fruit,” said Akber Khan.

Qatar Cham­ber Chair­man Sheikh Khalifa bin Jas­sim bin Mo­hammed Al Thani said the bud­get for the new fis­cal has set aside sig­nif­i­cant funds for sup­port­ing food se­cu­rity projects, ex­pand­ing small and medium in­dus­tries and de­vel­op­ing in­fras­truc­ture in the eco­nomic and free zones, giv­ing the pri­vate sec­tor a wider op­por­tu­nity to play a big­ger role in the projects put for­ward by the govern­ment.

“We ex­pect the new bud­get to play an im­por­tant role in mov­ing the eco­nomic process in the com­ing pe­riod, espe­cially as it in­volves the sign­ing of new project con­tracts worth a to­tal of QR29 bil­lion, which pro­motes growth in non-oil sec­tors,” he said.

Qatar Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre (QFC) Au­thor­ity Chief Executive Of­fi­cer Yousuf Mo­hamed Al Jaida opined that the bud­get was a tes­ta­ment to Qatar's strong eco­nomic per­for­mance de­spite the on­go­ing block­ade. “As Qatar's only busi­ness and fi­nan­cial cen­tre, QFC's over­all strat­egy has al­ways been to diver­sify the lo­cal econ­omy and con­tin­ues to at­tract FDI, so we are espe­cially proud that the bud­get showed a clear in­crease in non-oil rev­enue and we look for­ward to see­ing this con­tinue to rise in the years ahead.”

He added: “In 2017, QFC con­tin­ued its in­ter­na­tional out­reach with road­shows across Europe and Asia and there was a clear in­di­ca­tion of interest from abroad in on­go­ing ma­jor projects in the build-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar's econ­omy will con­tinue to pro­vide a vast ar­ray of op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional in­vestors as we con­tinue to grow and de­velop in line with QNV 2030.”

“The cur­rent re­gional devel­op­ments do not deter us from our growth ob­jec­tives and plans and this bud­get is fur­ther proof that Qatar re­mains open for busi­ness,” he added.

Eco­nomic block­ade fac­tor

The eco­nomic block­ade has only fur­ther re­solved the

“THE BUD­GET WOULD, AMONG OTHER THINGS, SUP­PORT THE UPTICK IN MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ING SEC­TOR GROWTH RE­PORTED IN 2017, WITH QR260 BIL­LION RE­PORTED IN IN­VEST­MENT IN THE SEC­TOR, AND 730 IN­DUS­TRIAL FA­CIL­I­TIES REG­IS­TERED WITH THE MIN­ISTRY OF EN­ERGY AND IN­DUS­TRY.” RANJEEV MENON Group CEO Gulf Ware­hous­ing Com­pany Doha, Qatar

“HEIGHT­ENED IN­FRAS­TRUC­TURE SPENDS, AS BUD­GETED, WILL BEN­E­FIT THE BANKING SEC­TOR WHICH WILL BE CALLED UPON TO FUND A SIG­NIF­I­CANT PRO­POR­TION OF THIS SPEND­ING. CON­SUMER-RE­LATED SEC­TORS MAY START TO SEE SOME RE­LIEF AS THE POP­U­LA­TION CON­TIN­UES TO EX­PAND AND SOME OF THE INI­TIA­TIVES TO BRING BACK TOURISTS START TO BEAR FRUIT.” AKBER KHAN Se­nior Di­rec­tor-Asset Man­age­ment Group Al Rayan In­vest­ment Doha, Qatar

govern­ment's plans to speed up its eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion pro­grammes by which the coun­try has wit­nessed for­eign in­vest­ment and es­tab­lished in­roads in de­vel­op­ing the var­i­ous eco­nomic sec­tors in the coun­try.

Ranjeev Menon said to that end, pro­grammes such as the Min­istry of Econ­omy and Com­merce's ‘Own Your Fac­tory in 72 Hours' had gained a lot of interest and at­ten­tion, with 63 in­vestors short­listed to set up fac­to­ries worth QR2.5 bil­lion un­der that ini­tia­tive.

Due to strong govern­ment fore­sight, the ware­hous­ing and lo­gis­tics parks de­vel­oped by Manateq – of which the GWC Bu Sulba Ware­hous­ing Park and the Al As­makh Lo­gis­tics Park are cur­rently op­er­a­tional un­der GWC's man­age­ment – are ready and primed to pro­vide star­tups and small and medium en­ter­prises with plug-n-play fa­cil­i­ties ready to sup­port their ware­hous­ing and lightin­dus­try fa­cil­ity's needs, said Menon.

MR Raghu, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent - Re­search at Markaz, an in­vest­ment man­age­ment and re­search com­pany in Kuwait, said the eco­nomic block­ade has only re­in­forced the re­solve to achieve eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion through im­ple­men­ta­tion of var­i­ous pro­grammes. Though dur­ing the ini­tial pe­riod the fi­nan­cial sys­tem was squeezed due to the with­drawal of de­posits, the govern­ment quickly in­jected liq­uid­ity to ease the sit­u­a­tion.

“The cur­rent bud­get which fo­cuses on stream­lin­ing in­vest­ments and large-scale spend­ing on de­vel­op­ment of phys­i­cal and so­cial in­fras­truc­ture could only ac­cel­er­ate the eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion agenda,” said Raghu.

Bridg­ing the deficit

The Fi­nance Min­istry said in a state­ment that the bud­get deficit will be fi­nanced through the is­suance of debt and re­ports sug­gested that the govern­ment was plan­ning to tap the debt mar­ket in the first quar­ter for about QR32.76 bil­lion ($9 bil­lion) and of­fi­cials were in talks with sev­eral in­ter­na­tional banks about the sale.

The bond is likely to be in line with or more than Qatar's last is­suance of QR32.76 bil­lion ($9 bil­lion) in 2016. “Oil­ex­port­ing coun­tries across the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil re­gion are tap­ping debt markets to bol­ster pub­lic fi­nances af­ter crude prices slumped. Saudi Ara­bia's is­suance led re­gional sales last year, rais­ing $21.5 bil­lion,” ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Bloomberg.

Ac­cord­ing to Akber Khan, Qatar was the only coun­try in the re­gion not to tap fixed in­come markets in 2017. How­ever, the govern­ment is ex­pected to try and re­fresh the sov­er­eign yield curve which would fa­cil­i­tate pri­vate sec­tor is­suance. It is worth not­ing that sus­tained high oil prices would lead to a bud­get sur­plus rather than deficit by yearend, he said.

Raghu said that though Qatar's bud­get has taken a very con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mate of oil prices rein­ing in at $45 per bar­rel, prices have been much higher and this is likely to re­sult in a wind­fall in rev­enues, re­sult­ing in lower deficits.

To fund the deficit, Qatar's govern­ment could source ad­di­tional cap­i­tal from the debt markets in the form of bond in­stru­ments. More­over, with Qatar com­mand­ing an in­vest­ment grade sov­er­eign rating of AA- from S&P Rat­ings agency, it could aid in sourc­ing cap­i­tal at a lower cost, he said.

Moody's In­vestor Ser­vice too has de­scribed Qatar's pru­dent ap­proach to the 2018 bud­get plan­ning as “credit positive and re­duces the risk of fis­cal slip­page” that would in­crease the govern­ment's debt bur­den at po­ten­tially higher costs.

Moody's has fore­cast a to­tal rev­enue of QR207.3 bil­lion as­sum­ing that oil prices will av­er­age $54 per bar­rel, 20% higher than the oil price bud­geted by the Qatari au­thor­i­ties. Hence the rating agency has fore­cast a small fis­cal sur­plus of QR2.3 bil­lion (0.4% of GDP) in 2018, com­pared to the au­thor­i­ties' es­ti­mate of a QR28.1 bil­lion (4.4% of GDP) deficit.

Food se­cu­rity vi­tal

Agri­cul­ture is another area which can boost the econ­omy as plans are un­der way to in­crease agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion to meet the needs of the lo­cal mar­ket and achieve self­suf­fi­ciency in agri­cul­tural and an­i­mal prod­ucts through the Qatar na­tional food se­cu­rity pro­gramme and the com­pre­hen­sive food se­cu­rity plan for the pe­riod 2014-24.

Qatar has about 65,000 hectares of arable land, which pro­duces about 568,000 tonnes of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, cov­er­ing the needs of the lo­cal mar­ket by a large per­cent­age. The govern­ment is also ex­plor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­pand­ing the arable land be­sides in­creas­ing the num­ber of farms to 2,000, which will work on the pro­duc­tion of veg­eta­bles, fruits and other crops and sup­ply­ing them to the lo­cal mar­ket in the com­ing years.

Raghu said that the re­cently re­leased Global Food Se­cu­rity In­dex 2017 de­vel­oped by the Econ­o­mist In­tel­li­gence Unit (EIU) and Dupont said that de­spite the block­ade, Qatar was ranked 29th among 113 coun­tries. Turkey and Iran have helped Qatar in over­com­ing the food short­age.

“The govern­ment is also ex­pand­ing its food stor­age ca­pa­bil­i­ties by con­struct­ing strate­gic food se­cu­rity fa­cil­i­ties and ware­houses at Ha­mad Port, with a ca­pac­ity of stock­pil­ing pro­cessed and stored food for three mil­lion peo­ple for two years at a cost of QR1.6 bil­lion ($440 mil­lion). De­vel­op­ment of new trade links, expansion of ca­pac­ity at air­ports and sea­ports are all be­ing un­der­taken to im­prove and en­hance the food se­cu­rity po­si­tion,” added Raghu.

Ranjeev Menon said the bud­get would, among other things, sup­port the uptick in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor growth re­ported in 2017, with QR260 bil­lion of in­vest­ments be­ing re­ported in the sec­tor, and 730 in­dus­trial fa­cil­i­ties reg­is­tered with the Min­istry of En­ergy and In­dus­try.

This would di­rectly sup­port Qatar's ef­forts to be­come self-suf­fi­cient in food and con­sum­able prod­ucts, all of which must be sup­ported by strong lo­gis­tics in­fras­truc­ture that can pro­vide the stor­age and distri­bu­tion so­lu­tions needed for each in­di­vid­ual type of project.

The open­ing of the much-awaited in­fras­truc­ture projects like Ha­mad Port, which has strong ca­pa­bil­i­ties, mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties and ad­vanced sys­tems, have been po­si­tion­ing Qatar as a re-ex­port hub in the re­gion, in­creas­ing the vol­ume of trade be­tween them and the rest of the world.

“The port will al­low pri­vate sec­tor busi­ness­men to in­crease the flow of goods to and from the coun­try, fa­cil­i­tat­ing both trade and ad­vanc­ing entrepreneurship for the savvy trader. The port is also wit­ness­ing multi-mil­lion-dol­lars' worth of in­vest­ments, sup­port­ing its food se­cu­rity ware­houses and pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties,” added Menon

“THE CUR­RENT BUD­GET WHICH FO­CUSES ON STREAM­LIN­ING IN­VEST­MENTS AND LARGE-SCALE SPEND­ING ON DE­VEL­OP­MENT OF PHYS­I­CAL AND SO­CIAL IN­FRAS­TRUC­TURE COULD ONLY AC­CEL­ER­ATE THE ECO­NOMIC DI­VER­SI­FI­CA­TION AGENDA.” MR RAGHU Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent-Re­search Markaz, Kuwait

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