New figures just released yesterday show that Qatar’s economy grew by nearly 9% in 2009. This figure was lower than predicted but it is still considered to be positive progress when the sheer extent of the downturn in the global economy is taken into account. Over the past five years the average rate of growth for Qatar’s economy has been almost 17.5% and it is still predicted that over the coming years Qatar will become a stronger economy than other oil producers in the region such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Farah Ahmed Hersi, Masraf Al-Rayan’s senior economist, said it bodes well for Qatar that they maintained a “resilient economy” despite the troublesome times we have just been through and now that the worst is behind we can expect to see the growth at “even a higher pace”.
The figures recently released were also lower than those predicted by OPEC for the region which had predicted growth for 2009 at 11%. A Reuter’s poll had also predicted a 9.5% growth rate for last year.
The reasons Qatar maintained a healthy growth rate despite the current conditions is due to its large expansion of its gas producing industries. The government also invested huge amounts of cash in the banking sector in an effort to minimize the fallout there. However it was impossible to avoid the crash in the real estate sector and this did significantly impact the economy into deflationary conditions last year.
However other countries performed a lot poorer for the period, Saudi Arabia for example grew by only 0.2% for the same period and the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are expected to record negative growth figures for 2009. The State becomes more attractive as a result of high economic indicators even for foreigners looking to find work in QatarPaul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News