Qatar-US strategic alliance strong in all fields, says Finance Minister

DOHA:  The Minister of Finance H E Ali Shareef Al Emadi affirmed that Qatar and the US are bound with strategic alliance relations that have reflected on their cooperation in political; economic; commercial; investment; educational; energy and gas production and other fields.

With regard to the implications of the trade war between the US and China, and its shadows on the global economy, the Finance Minister said at the plenary session on Global Institutions and National Economies held on the sidelines of the Doha Forum 2019 that an agreement between the two parties could bring many positives results to all, stressing that in rivalry between two giant economies, no one can be winning.

The Minister pointed out that the world economy will face many challenges during the coming period, most of which will be in developing countries, noting the important role that the American, Chinese and Russian economies will play as advanced economies in the field of global economic growth.

He also pointed out that among the factors that affected the global economic growth was the drop in oil prices, which at some levels reached between $50 and $60 per barrel, and that also resulted in lower levels of growth in the Gulf countries if compared to previous figures, he added.

Regarding Qatar’s openness to foreign currencies, H E Al Emadi affirmed that the State of Qatar is open to all currencies, being Chinese, European or other currencies, stressing in the same context that majority of the State of Qatar’s exports are in US dollars and that the national currency is linked to the US dollar, which is of benefit to the national economy.

Commenting on the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar, His Excellency stated that the State of Qatar resorted during the blockade to using the Iranian airspace after the air and land borders with a number of Gulf countries were closed. During that period until now, the percentage of trade between Qatar and Iran does not exceed 3 percent of the total intra-regional trade between the Gulf countries and Iran, he explained indicating that biggest portion of the Qatar-Iran trade exchange is limited to food and agricultural products in addition to some humanitarian aid. After closing its borders, the State of Qatar was forced to pass into international markets through the Iranian airspace, he stressed.

He said that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was based on economic integration before the blockade, which was imposed through a sudden decision. He added that in the past, Qatar used to import many commodities from the Gulf countries, giving example with products of which Qatar, after the blockade, has achieved self-sufficiency and started exporting abroad. He said that Qatar Airways, during the blockade, lost 19 destinations, but was able to compensate that by opening 24 new lines, pointing that number of tourists coming to the State of Qatar is expected to increase to about two million.

In a related context, the Minister of Finance said that Qatar has provided financial and economic support to many countries in the Middle East region, especially those that suffering from economic difficulties, like Lebanon, for which $500m has been secured to support its economy. He stressed that the State of Qatar abides by its pledges, adding that that most of the economic activities carried out by the State of Qatar during the past period were taking place times of hardship to these countries, which comes within the framework of the State of Qatar support for brotherly and friendly countries.

His Excellency affirmed that Lebanon is an important country in the region and that its stability is important for the Gulf countries and for the world as a whole, adding that the State of Qatar will always be committed to supporting its brothers and friends.

Source from: The Peninsula