Qatar sees strong non-hydrocarbon growth
Doha, March 11, 2013
Qatar expects rapid growth in non-hydrocarbon parts of its economy this year while its gas sector is unlikely to expand significantly, Finance Minister Youssef Kamal said on Monday.
"We expect in 2013 to see 9 percent growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector. In the hydrocarbon sector, we do not expect to see an increase before 2017," he told a financial conference.
"We expect $140 billion on infrastructure spending through 2019. Construction sector growth will reach 10 percent this year and next year. Transport and communications growth will reach 10 to 15 percent."
Asked about the parameters of state budget spending for next fiscal year, which will start on April 1, he replied: "It will be a little bit higher." He also said next fiscal year's budget would be based on an oil price of $65 per barrel.
Kamal added that Qatar hoped to raise its credit rating to AAA from AA. He did not elaborate on how this would be done.
Qatar does not expect to give further financial aid to Egypt in the immediate term, Kamal said. "We already announced $5 billion," Kamal told Reuters, when asked how much aid Qatar had provided Egypt to date.
Asked whether Qatar expected to provide more, he replied: "Not yet." He did not elaborate.
Qatar has been a key source of foreign aid to Egypt since its 2011 revolution through soft loans and deposits in Cairo's central bank.
With Egypt's foreign reserves falling to critically low levels and a hoped-for $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund delayed by political unrest, there has been speculation that Cairo could turn to Qatar for yet more aid. -Reuters