Despite cutbacks and lower oil prices, Qatar is planning to invest heavily in its healthcare, transportation and construction sectors next year, Qatar’s finance minister has said.
Some QR367 billion has already been spent on megaprojects in the country.
A further QR46 billion is expected to be invested in 2017, he said at the opening of the Euromoney Qatar Conference this week.
According to QNB’s CEO, construction would account for 45 percent of investment between 2015 and 2018, and transport almost 30 percent, AFP reports.
Minister of Finance Ali Sharif Al Emadi also pointed out that the IMF forecasts Qatar’s growth to be 3.4 percent next year — the highest in the Gulf.
“This has been achieved through a number of measures, including an increase in efficiencies in public spending, the growth of the financial sector and a rise in the private sector’s contribution to economic growth.
The non-oil sector achieved a growth rate of 5.8 percent this year, demonstrating the success of our diversification strategy.”
BMI Research echoed the optimism, saying in a report last month that Qatar’s economy could return to the black next year.
This is despite government forecasts of three years of budget deficits.
That said, the cost of all the upcoming megaprojects (such as the Doha Metro and 2022 World Cup stadiums) will suppress any significant surpluses for the coming years, BMI concluded.