Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani called for the need to address global economic challenges during his opening remarks at the second Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) on Tuesday.
The Qatari leader said human values and peacekeeping were primary to dealing with issues in today’s world.
“Supporting the economy, investment and innovation in parallel with consolidating shared human values and peacekeeping is the way to build the necessary capacities in order to transcend crises and overcome challenges,” said Sheikh Tamim.
The impact of the Covid-19 on global economies was a key issue of concern at this year’s edition. The amir noted that “positive health indicators” have increased since the lifting of restrictions imposed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, enabling trade flow and increase in public spending.
The amir added that the pandemic has also revealed the size of the gap between rich and poor nations while contributing to its expansion.
“The international community must adopt an approach that could translate words and goodwill into practical steps that could achieve equality in economic recovery among countries and salvage the sustainable development goals,” said Sheikh Tamim.
Addressing world leaders and key business figures, the amir said that the ongoing war in Ukraine has had a “devastating effect” on the European continent. Commenting on current economic forecasts, he said that there is a slowdown of growth.
With concerns over energy and food security on the rise, the amir warned that the economic setback “could be a prelude to an inflationary recession that the world has never seen” before since the period between 1976 and 1979.
“There are issues that have no economic solution, these include the war and its devastating consequences on Ukraine and many other countries and peoples. The solution, in this case, can only be politically oriented,” noted the amir.
As the host country of the QEF, Sheikh Tamim tapped into Qatar’s economic growth despite the global challenges. The amir said that Doha has powered through difficulties using the “consolidation of justice, equality and solidarity and rejection of double standards.”
The Gulf state’s leader said that Qatar’s 2022 gross domestic product (GDP) is forecasted to grow at 4.9% due to the rise of energy prices together with the policies and procedures adopted by Qatar.
“We are aware that the rise in energy prices is short-lived and can’t be maintained forever. We had passed through long periods of low energy prices,” said Sheikh Tamim.
The amir highlighted Qatar’s role in economic diversification through the introduction of legislative amendments to encourage commercial transactions, enhance competition, and ensure consumer protection.
One such development includes allowing 100 % foreign investors ownership of companies, which has in turn has “led to a significant increase in the volume of domestic and foreign investment”.
Foreign direct investment increased by 27% in 2021 in comparison to 2020, said the leader.
With Qatar stepping closer to hosting the 2022 World Cup, Sheikh Tamim expressed his confidence that the event will open the prospects for strengthening international economic partnerships.
“Qatar and the entire region are heading for a significant historical event of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup for the first time in our region. We are confident that the wide participation of the countries of the world,” said Sheikh Tamim.