By Beatrice Thomas
QNB Group chief says Qatar's non-oil and gas sector worth over 50% of GDP by 2015
Qatar’s diversifying economy is set to reap rewards with the non-hydrocarbon sector predicted to be worth more than half of the country's GDP by 2015, according to the country’s biggest bank.
Speaking ahead of the Euromoney Qatar Conference in Doha this week, Joannes Mongardini, Head of Economics at QNB Group, said the Qatar economy was booming and entering a new phase of economic growth not solely dependent on the traditional gas and oil sector.
“Large investments in construction, transport, real estate and petrochemical sectors will result in double-digit growth of the non-hydrocarbon sector over the next few years,” he said.
According to a recent report by QNB Group, Qatar's GDP was $192bn in 2012, of which the hydrocarbon (oil and gas) sector accounted for 58 percent.
Driven by infrastructure megaprojects for FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar's non-hydrocarbon sector is slated to grow from 42 percent in 2012 to more than 50 percent by 2015, it estimated.
Qatar's real GDP is expected to grow by 6.5 percent in 2013 and 6.8 percent in 2014, with Qatar adding 240,000 jobs by 2014, QNB said.
As well, the country was recently named the Middle East's most competitive by the World Economic Forum, and it will be upgraded from “frontier market” to “emerging market” status by the MSCI in May 2014.
“While the government clearly has a key role to play in infrastructure development, other sectors are mostly going to benefit from private sector investments,” Mongardini said.
“We would also expect small and medium-sized enterprises such as hotels, medical services, retail, and restaurants to flourish in order to cater to the growing population.”
The Euromoney Qatar Conference will be held on December 10-11 at The Ritz-Carlton in Doha.