Euromoney Qatar Conference 2016 Kicks Off

Doha, – Under the patronage of HE Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the 5th edition of Euromoney Qatar Conference 2016 kicked off today in Doha. The two-day forum brought together leaders from across the financial sector to discuss the challenges of building a new financial ecosystem.

In a pre-conference workshop, the participants addressed the impacts of challenges caused by geopolitical pressures on the region’s economies as well as issues such as greater integration among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the future.

Experts participating in the workshop highlighted the importance that GCC countries accelerate their plans to diversify their economies and reduce their dependence on oil revenues, arguing that these countries are going in the right direction towards the development of non-oil sectors, but must speed up these plans to avoid becoming vulnerable to fluctuations in world oil markets.

They pointed out that oil prices will not see an increase above $70 a barrel during the next two years, noting that the agreement reached by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at its meeting in Vienna last week to reduce oil production will mainly contribute to the achievement of price stability but not their rise.

The experts pointed out that the global geopolitical pressures are no longer impacting the market as they were earlier, and that the stability of the market requires the cooperation of the petroleum exporting countries and that their competition would have negative impact on prices.

During the workshop, Ali Ahmed Al Kuwari, Group CEO, Qatar National Bank, made a presentation in which he noted the high economic growth of the country despite of the significant decline in world oil prices, pointing to the continued good performance of the country’s economy during the next year in 2017, while maintaining the State’s good rating at AA.

Al Kuwari praised Qatar’s endeavor to transform to the knowledge-based economy in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, and to increase the contribution of non-oil sector in the national income.

He stressed that the State’s major projects were not affected by the decline in oil prices, noting that the most important of these projects are those related to the construction, transport, oil and gas sectors, petrochemicals and infrastructure.

Al Kuwari touched on the launch of Qatar National Bank Group’s new strategy that focuses on becoming a leading bank in the Middle East and North Africa region, pointing out that the bank doubled its assets, loan and deposit portfolios during the current year, as it was ranked the first in the Gulf region.

During the second session entitled “Qatar’s Reaction to the New Macroeconomic Headwinds”, Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Financial Centre Authority, said that the Qatari oil and gas industry is built on a successful model of partnership between the public and private sectors, adding that the energy industry has grown greatly since its inception and following the entering into partnerships with the world’s largest private-sector companies.

He stressed that what is needed now is an appropriate legislative framework for the development of this model [of cooperation between the public and private sectors]. This is what the authorities concerned in Qatar are working on, he said.

The Euromoney Qatar Conference is co-hosted by Qatar Central Bank and will run until 7 December 2016 at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha. This year, the Euromoney Qatar Conference will organize a special pre-conference workshop on geopolitics to analyze and address the major issues of the day, including the outlook for greater GCC integration.

In addition, the event will host panels on regional and international portfolio investment strategy, “Digital Qatar”, and SMEs and Innovation, asking whether Qatar has the right incentives in place to grow the private sector.

Euromoney Conferences is the leading organiser of financial events in both developed and developing markets for cross-border investment and capital markets. Since the late 1970s, Euromoney Conferences has run events in more than 60 countries with resounding success. (END)

Source: Qatar News Agency