DOHA (Reuters) – The economy of Qatar, the worlds top exporter of liquefied natural gas, is set to grow 2.6 percent this year and closer to 3 percent in 2019, its finance minister told Reuters.
The Gulf Arab states economy has largely recovered from a boycott imposed by other Arab states last June and is again one of the regions fastest-growing.
Qatar moved quickly to safeguard its economy after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha, accusing it of financing terrorism. Qatar rejects the allegations.
He said Qatar was moving on fast with spending in preparation of hosting the 2022 World Cup – the centrepiece of Dohas strategy to project itself on the global stage – and that 90 percent of infrastructure work for the event would be completed by 2019.
Qatar is set to make its first foray into the international bond markets since the Arab row erupted last year. It will meet UK and U.S. investors from April 9-11 ahead of issuing five-, 10- and 30-year dollar notes.
“We havent seen any change in financial institutions behaviour towards us. It is business as usual,” he said. “If we see a good opportunity we will go out.”
Qatars banking sector is still very liquid and can provide funding options for Qatari firms, while some of the more developed companies in the country have already accessed international bond markets, the minister added.
Editing by John Stonestreet