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Qatar managed COVID-19 with high efficiency: WB

Qatar managed COVID-19 with high efficiency: WB

QNA
Doha
World Bank Group Country Director for the GCC countries Issam Abousleiman has said that Qatar managed the COVID-19 crisis with effectiveness, thanks to the laudable performance of the healthcare system and the logistics for the purchase and distribution of vaccines.
In an interview with a Doha-based newspaper published on Thursday, he stressed that the high rate of vaccination allowed the government to gradually ease restrictions, which had a clear impact on aspects of economic activity, as transport movement returned to pre-pandemic levels and the level of activity in retail stores, entertainment venues, transport stations, and workplaces are returning to pre-pandemic levels.
Abousleiman also touched on the levels of growth that Qatar will achieve from 2022 to 2030, and the expected revenues from the oil and gas sector, hydrocarbon sectors, and tourism sectors coinciding with hosting FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Qatar is expected to achieve a GDP growth rate of 3 percent for 2021, the same growth rate for both oil and non-oil GDP, driven by domestic and foreign demand in light of the successful start of the vaccination campaign, he said.
The strengthening of energy prices and the final preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022, whose competitions are scheduled to take place in December 2022, along with the expected huge tourism revenues, which may be the first sporting event in the world that witnesses a huge public presence after COVID-19 subsides, may lead to achieving growth by 4.8 percent in 2022, he said, noting that this will accelerate the expected growth rate in non-oil GDP to jump to 5.9 percent, while the growth rate in oil GDP will remain at 3 percent.
It is also expected that the continued rise in oil prices and the expansion of the production of the North Gas Field, which will start to contribute to production in 2023, will maintain the rate of Real GDP growth at around 5 percent in 2023 after the World Cup, he added.
He considered that as long as LNG is viewed less as an intermediate raw material, and more as a complement to a future economy based on renewable hydrogen energy, it is likely that Qatar will export hydrocarbon products for a longer period than other exporters in the Middle East and North Africa who focus on oil.
Abousleiman commented on future fiscal challenges, and foundations that would protect the Qatari economy from any fluctuations by saying that the balance of public finances, like other macroeconomic indicators, depends to a large extent on the prices of basic commodities and the volume of energy-related exports and that the reduction of the fiscal deficit in 2021 is mostly due to the recovery of hydrocarbon prices, as well as to general facilities by easing financial burdens as the pandemic begins to recede.

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