Qatar’s vast natural gas and oil reserves and the state’s ambition to diversify the economy under its 20230 National Vision will be a major driver of the economy in the current year and the years ahead according to a top official of a leading diversified business entity in the country.

Estithmar Holding Group Chief Executive Officer, Henrik Halager Christiansen told The Peninsula that one of the key drivers of the Qatari economy is the country’s natural resources, particularly its large reserves of oil and natural gas. While the government is working to diversify the economy, these resources will continue to play an important role in the country’s growth.

He said Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and this industry is expected to continue to expand in the coming years, driven by increasing global demand for cleaner energy sources.

“This growth is supported by the government’s commitment to investing in key sectors, such as transportation, healthcare, education, and tourism. The country has made significant investments in this sector, with the goal of attracting more visitors to the country. In recent years, Qatar has hosted several major sporting events, including the 2022 FIFA World Cup. I strongly believe that these events have helped to increase the country’s profile on the global stage and have led to increased tourism and investment in other industries,” Christiansen said.

According to tourism data 340,000 foreign travellers had visited Qatar during the first month this year recording a 295 percent year on year growth followed by 389,000 visitors in second month notching a staggering 406 percent increase from the same period last year.

Meanwhile the global economy is set to grow at roughly 3 percent over the next five years - the slowest pace since 1990, the head of the International Monetary Fund has said.

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva has called for additional support from wealthier countries to support the weakest members of our global family adding that the path ahead was “rough and foggy”.- and warned that cooperation to address the problems was becoming more difficult.

Last year, global growth dropped almost in half to 3.4 percent, following a post-pandemic surge in 2021. That was below the 3.8 percent average growth of the last two decades. The slowdown has continued this year, despite strong job markets in countries such as the US. The IMF said it expected growth to dip below 3 percent in 2023, with India and China accounting for more than half of the growth.

However, according to the World Bank’s latest report Qatar is expected to post a fiscal surplus of 6.5 percent in 2023 and 5.3 percent next year. The current account balance will be 15.9 percent this year and 12.1 percent in 2024 and the real GDP of Qatar has been forecast to grow at 3.3 percent this year.

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