The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest economic recession in nearly a century, threatening health, disrupting economic activity, and hurting well-being and jobs across the globe.
The global economy shrunk by 4.4% in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Therefore, many countries had to come out with extraordinary policies to tackle the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and achieve a comprehensive revival.
In this regard, Qatar under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, adopted an economic diversification policy, stimulating the participation and role of the private sector, developing national industries and exports, and attracting investment in non-energy sectors.
At a recent lecture at the Joaan bin Jassim Joint Command and Staff College, HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari said the total volume of investments in the industrial sector in 2020 amounted to approximately QR263bn.
The minister pointed out that the industrial sector had witnessed remarkable growth in conjunction with the progress made in the projects of developing the SMEs industrial zone. The total number of factories in Qatar in 2020 stood at 927, registering a 6% increase compared to 2019.
Regarding the measures taken to confront the repercussions of the pandemic, al-Kuwari noted Qatar had succeeded, in light of the current exceptional circumstances, in dealing with the consequences of the crisis and taking effective and efficient measures that have contributed to reducing its negative impact on the social and economic levels.
Qatar has worked to enhance the flow of commodities and support maintaining regular supply operations by strengthening its co-operation with countries and trade partners, providing raw materials for various industrial sectors as well as adopting a series of economic measures and incentives.
These, undoubtedly, have contributed to protecting the private sector and enhancing companies’ ability to adapt to the current economic situation and pay their employees.
Of particular significance is the legislation put in place by Qatar to attract and encourage investment, including the law regulating the Public-Private Partnership (PPP), which contributed to enhancing investment prospects in the country and providing the appropriate legislative framework to improve governance, risk management, and enhance competition and innovation.
This law provided investors with the opportunity to finance, develop, and operate projects in a variety of priority sectors, including food security, sports, tourism, health, education, and logistics.
In this regard, the minister spoke about the recent signing of the government schools package contract (establishing eight schools), and launching the tourist resorts project, spanning an area exceeding 450,000sqm.
Another major initiative by Qatar is the establishment of the Investment Promotion Agency. Established in July 2019, Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar)’s mandate is to support high-value inward foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.
Covid-19 has had an impact on the global economy, and IMF has estimated there will be a large impact on FDI as well.
That said, by Almighty God’s grace, Qatar is well-positioned and expected to be one of the few countries globally to deliver a fiscal surplus in 2020, amounting to 5.2% of GDP, and a surplus of 1.4% of GDP in 2021.
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