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Thu 25 Mar 2010 02:33 PM

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Qatari PM sees 2010-11 GDP growth at 16%

Al Thani sees country's LNG production capacity at 77.4m tonnes per year by 2011.

Qatari PM sees 2010-11 GDP growth at 16%
COUNTRY HEAD: Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani.(Getty Images)

Qatar's gas-rich economy is expected to grow by 16 percent in 2010-11, Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani told an investment forum on Thursday. "Despite the unfavourable headwinds at the global level, the Qatari GDP has grown 11 percent in 2009 and we are forecasting growth of 16 percent in 2010-2011," al-Thani said, according to an English translator. The fiscal year in Qatar starts in April.

The economy in Qatar, the world's largest natural gas exporter, is expected to outperform that of its fellow Gulf oil producers in the coming years due to massive expansion of its gas facilities.

The IMF expects Qatar's GDP to expand by 18.5 percent this year and has warned against a risk of potential overheating. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast growth at 16.1 percent in 2010 .

Al-Thani also confirmed it expected to boost its liquefied natural gas production capacity to 77.4 million tonnes per year by 2011 from 56 million tonnes currently.

"The investments necessary to obtain this increase are being made," al-Thani said. "More than 40 percent of the budget this year will be dedicated to infrastructure projects."

Qatar has said it would increase its LNG output capacity thanks to the start up of two giant new liquefaction plants and by revamping existing facilities, mainly targeting China and India's energy-hungry economies for LNG sales. (Reuters)

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