The global economy is being pushed off-track by a rising range of pressures that require concerted action, and oil and gas-exporting nations in particular face new risks, according to global financial leaders attending a major event in Doha, Qatar today.
More than 700 senior finance and banking executives – a new record – attended The Euromoney Qatar Conference 2014 this year, and heard a range of senior speakers outline the challenges and risks facing the national, regional and global economies.
Globally, the world economy is still unbalanced, having lost US$16 trillion in household wealth during the 2008 economic crisis and still seeing more than 50 percent of global financial transactions concentrated in a small handful of financial centres, such as New York, London and Tokyo.
The economy of the MENA region may be compromised by the fall in the price of key asset prices. With the price of oil dropping more than 30 percent in 2014, oil and gas exporting nations require fresh thinking and new approaches to stave off recession.
Senior Qatari leaders took to the stage to outline the positive steps taken by Qatar to ensure on-going financial stability and position the country as a role model for sustainable development.
His Excellency Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister, State of Qatar, delivered the Official Address. He outlined Qatar’s success in building infrastructure assets that support all sectors, as well as investing in the development of the citizen, through initiatives that support education, health and transformation of the economy.
His Excellency Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, said: “We are supporting the sustainable growth of Qatar’s economy through major development projects, including those that will support our hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and the Qatar National Vision 2030. Importantly, we are modernising our legal framework through a series of recent decrees that will encourage local and global investment in Qatar, and the development of the private sector.”
“The whole government is working in unison, following the recent directive of His Highness The Emir that all government departments should review and revise current policies that could encourage investment and boost economic activity.”
The Prime Minister’s remarks were reinforced by His Excellency Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, Minister of Finance, State of Qatar, who stressed that Qatar’s economy is being rebalanced, so that the non-energy industries – and the private sector in particular – is set to play a growing role in the coming years.
“Financial stability is a top priority and at the heart of the Qatar National Vision 2030. We are investing in major projects in education, health and transport infrastructure and managing the development process so that they are rolled-out in harmony, limiting logistical issues and delivering for the benefit of the people of Qatar. We have develop a progressive, reliable regulatory and legal framework to provide a solid foundation for our development strategy,” said His Excellency Ali Shareef Al-Emadi
His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Saoud Al Thani, Governor of the Qatar Central Bank, highlighted the key role played by central banks in Qatar and across the global economy. As part of his comments, he noted that the work of central banks had become both more important and more complex since the financial crisis, both in Qatar and around the world.
“Qatar Central Bank has launched initiatives to promote the effectiveness of the finance sector in developing capital markets and increasing financial stability. We have launched a strategy for the development of capital markets with other ministries, based on the Qatar National Vision 2030,” said His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Saoud Al Thani.
His Excellency noted the coordinated work done by Qatar Central Bank (QCB), the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) to deliver on key strategic priorities, particularly in developing a plan to encourage more companies to list on the stock market. In addition, he pointed to the Central Bank’s success in forging international links with other central banks around the world, demonstrated by recent agreements with China and Korea.
The strong focus on Qatar’s vision for economic development was reinforced by commentary from some of the country’s leading business executives. H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman of Ooredoo spoke of Qatar’s sustained and strategic investment in network infrastructure, and made the case that Qatar’s investment in a nationwide communication infrastructure, championed and led by Ooredoo, is set to be a vital economic asset.
H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, said: “Qatar, with its strong programme of investment in networks and mobile innovation, is well-positioned to play a leadership role in transforming both the finance sector and society as a whole. Ooredoo is striving to make our nation an ideal hub for business, creativity, and innovation, and we are already enabling businesses in Qatar to achieve their objectives, through the provision of 4G, Fibre and enterprise services.”
Senior representatives of Qatar’s banking sector – including Ali Al Kuwari, Acting Group CEO of Qatar National Bank and Abdulla Al Raisi, CEO of Commercial Bank of Qatar – highlighted the robust range of national and international assets under management by Qatari banks, with H.E. Sheikha Hanadi Nasser Bin Khaled Al Thani spoke of her work as Founder and Chairperson of Amwal, Qatar’s leading asset management group.
International perspective was provided by experts from Gulf One Investment Bank and Sarkis Yoghourtdjian, Assistant Director, Banking Supervision and Regulation at the Federal Reserve System, who made the point that the 2008 crisis was predominantly driven by a failure of global governance, and outlined some of the related structural challenges still facing the global economy.
Again and again, speakers highlighted the need for greater global cooperation and discussion to ensure continued financial stability – emphasised by the success and importance of The Euromoney Qatar Conference.
The Euromoney Qatar Conference is co-hosted by Qatar Central Bank and will run until 25 November 2014 at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha.
About Euromoney Conferences:
Euromoney Conferences (www.euromoneyconferences.com) is the leading organiser of financial events in both developed and developing markets. Euromoney runs large-scale events in the major financial capitals of the world and in selected Middle Eastern countries – notably Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait andQatar. Euromoney Institutional Investor plc was founded in 1969, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation in excess of $1bn.