HSBC experts hosted a special webinar to discuss Qatar’s response and resilience during Covid-19, which was attended by many of its customers.
Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi, CEO, HSBC in Qatar, opened the session saying, “Despite several challenges, Qatar has proven its resilience and ability to emerge stronger every time. The Qatar National Vision 2030, launched in 2008, has been the guide steering the country’s transformation process and the progress has been steadfast.”
The panel in conversation included industry experts Elie Maroun El Asmar, head (Commercial Banking), HSBC Qatar; Simon Williams, chief economist, CEEMEA, HSBC Bank plc; Omar Mahmood, partner, KPMG; Samer Wahbeh, Group chief executive officer, Investment Holding Group (IHG); and moderated by Osama Ali, managing director, head of Global Banking, HSBC Qatar. The outlook from the panellists was optimistic about the strength of the economic fundamentals that were also reflected in recent ratings by global rating agencies Standard and Poor’s and Fitch at stable and AA- as testament to the country’s ability to withstand the current conditions.
“The economic transformation process has mostly been unscathed by the Covid-19 pandemic as it has been built on a future vision with investments in healthcare, education and infrastructure,” Mostafawi said.
“The way in which the outbreak of the pandemic was managed with a very low mortality rate of infected patients, is testament to the state-of the-art healthcare facilities and experts in the country,” he said.
“We believe that the opportunities for growth are plenty in the short-, medium-, and long term. Our immediate optimism for growth comes from the final stages of preparation for the FIFA 2022 World Cup, and we can see the excitement building in the country.
“In the medium term the expansion of gas production to 110Mtpa by the end of 2023 will bring an array of opportunities that will continue to stimulate growth and innovation. That will lead to many new ideas for growth in the future that will mostly be linked to a focus on digitalisation in different sectors and sustainable energy sources for the future generations to explore,” Mostafawi concluded.
In response to a question about priority sectors, el-Asmar said, “We are excited about the prospects in the health, education and construction sectors. We see growth opportunities in all these sectors with the ongoing investment that is planned for the next seven to ten years.”
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