The Emir of Qatar announced to the press media that the nation has successfully overcome the Gulf Blockade obstacles as imposed by other Gulf Nations. HH Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said: "We've overcome the obstacles of the blockade, and we're also closer to achieving Qatar's national vision for the year 2030."
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt unanimously decided to cut diplomatic tie-ups with Qatar on 5th June 2017. Land, Air and Sea Routes were closed on the same day causing immense disturbance and chaos in the country. Qatar was primarily accused of supporting terrorism and helping Iran. There is already an ongoing rival going on between Iran and the aforesaid gulf countries. The state of Qatar, however, denied any such charges as levied by these gulf nations.
The Abu Samra border which connects the land route between Qatar and the UAE, via Saudi Arabia was permanently closed as a result of this blockade. This was the only roadway used for all imports to the country from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other neighbouring regions. It was indeed a challenging situation for the country finding alternate routes to have seamless supplies of the essentials.
HH Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani mentioned about the phenomenal economic achievements Qatar achieved even after imposing this blockade. The country developed new trade relations with Turkey, Oman, India and several countries across the globe. Emir further mentioned that Qatar successfully tackled and overcome the challenging situation imposed due to the blockade. He also said that Qatar is always ready to resolve all diplomatic disputes but it should be only if there is mutual respect without any interference in the country’s internal affairs.
HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Tuesday addressed the Shura Council in Qatar and mentioned briefly about the economic achievements Qatar has taken so far. He affirmed that Qatar was becoming stronger by developing its renewable energy and food sectors. Already Qatar started its own dairy production and opened Baladna firm. It is a milestone achievement for the nation’s economy growing self-sufficient.
Qatar's Economic Achievements
Talking about the country’s economic achievements, Sheikh Tamim mentioned about the budget surplus for this year. This GDP growth is reported for the first time in the last three years, whereas, last year there was a reported deficit. In 2018 the estimated budget deficit was 28.1bn Qatari riyal, but, in 2019 the declared budget surplus is around 4.3 bn Qatari riyals. It is equivalent to 1.1bn USD.
Qatar National Bank or QNB, which is the country’s largest commercial bank, reported in May 2018 about growth in GDP by 6.4 per cent during the fourth quarter of the year. Sheikh Tamim in his speech also mentioned that the country has maintained a strong currency value in the international market. There have been several attempts made to dismantle the value since the beginning of this diplomatic crisis, but none was successful.
The State of Qatar adopted various programs to diversify its economy after the blockade. It actually helped the nation to achieve growth in sectors like food, health, agriculture and education.
Sheikh Tamim said by referring to the last three years figures, "We executed national programmes that enhanced local production,” He further added, “More importantly, the government sought to rebalance the country's budget, and worked on decreasing public spending while leaving priority projects unaffected. Reports indicate there is a noticeable improvement in economic diversification and enhancement of the private sector, as well as an enhancement in the agriculture and fishing sectors."
Sheikh Tamim is optimistic about the growing private sector in the country. He mentioned in his remarks that there are more works to be done for enhancing economic diversification. According to him, another key objective is to decrease all bureaucratic processes which are hampering the country's progression and development.