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| 07 December, 2016

Qatar's goal to score big infrastructure growth in 2017

The Gulf state will invest $13 billion on mega infrastructure projects next year.

07 December 2016

The Gulf state will invest $13 billion on mega infrastructure projects next year, as part of its bid to achieve its target of 3.4 percent growth in 2017, Gulf Times reported on Wednesday. Read more here.

The new investments will focus on projects related to the country’s staging of the FIFA World Cup in 2022, along with other sectors like education, healthcare and transportation.

“Qatar is forecast to reach an annual growth rate of 3.4 percent in 2017, which is the highest forecast growth in the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council),” Finance Minister Ali Sherif Al Emadi told Euromoney conference, according to the Gulf Times report.

The minister pointed out the country’s non-oil sector grew by 5.8 percent this year.

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Qatar also announced earlier this month its plans to raise the salaries of its government employees next year, at a time when most of its neighbours are undergoing spending cuts and austerity measures to combat a severe drop in oil and gas prices. Read more here.

The World Cup event is seen as a main driver behind the country’s growth and the reason it did not suffer as severe a slowdown as some of its GCC neighbours, such as Saudi Arabia, which recorded a record budget deficit of nearly $100 billion in 2015. Read more here.

However, the event is causing some headaches for government leaders, with FIFA's ethics watchdog handing last month a one-year ban to Saoud Al Mohannadi, a high-ranking Qatari and Asian soccer official, for failing to cooperate as a witness during an investigation. Read more here.

In the same month, Doha's anti-doping laboratory had its accreditation suspended for four months by the World Anti-Doping Agency, after it failed to comply with international standards. Read more here.

© Express 2016