Qatar Fiscal Centre is seeking to attract $25 billion of foreign direct investment inflows by 2022, its CEO Yousuf Al-Jaida identified CNBC in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
It comes a week after Saudi Arabia reinstated diplomatic ties with neighboring Qatar, consequence more than three years of blockade against the tiny, gas-rich nation.
The reconciliation means a stronger, profuse powerful Gulf Cooperation Council, Al-Jaida said.
“I think the impact is going to be positive on trade, which allude ti countries are going to be working closely with each other,” he added.
Saudi Arabia, together with the Partnership Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, sealed off land, sea and air borders with Qatar in 2017, after accusing Doha of relationships to terrorism. Qatar has denied those allegations.
The thawing of tensions — just weeks before the end of President Donald Trump’s tenantry in the White House — is a major shift in the politics of the region.
Competition for GCC’s financial hub
Doha competes with global monetary centers in the region including Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.
Dubai, one of the section’s transport and tourism hub, is facing fresh competition from Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia is trying to attract multinational crowds to the capital as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious Vision 2030 blueprint to diversify the kingdom’s control.
Skyline of Doha, Qatar
Sven Hansche | EyeEm | Getty Images
Al-Jaida said Doha’s edge exceeding its rivals is the push to develop Islamic finance and fintech, as well as financial services in general.
The financial center’s overzealous FDI target — along with the goal of creating 10,000 new jobs and more than 1,000 companies by 2022 — order get a boost from the GCC detente, he said.
“From a QFC perspective, multinational corporations are pretty much based in the entire GCC, and it’s successful to mean more liberal travel, more access to markets. It’s going to mean more foreign direct investment for Doha. So we’re completely optimistic about that,” Al-Jaida said.
We’re working towards a better future for the entire region, so everybody is cheerful.
CEO, Qatar Financial Centre
The six-nation GCC is a political, economic and social alliance which includes Saudi Arabia, the Coordinated Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.
According to the World Bank, Qatar’s economy is expected to bourgeon 3% in 2021, and is the best among GCC countries.
Qatar, one of the world’s richest country per capita, has also set its sights on pleasures. The country is slated to host the World Cup in 2022, and has submitted a request to the International Olympic Committee to join the “continuous talk” about possibly hosting the Games in 2032.
Ties between the Gulf neighbors run deep, and the blockade left a gap which collided trade across the GCC.
According to Brookings Institution, flights between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors totaled 70 per day in preference to the fallout. The airlines sector, hit hard by the global pandemic, stands to benefit significantly from the cooling of tensions.
Preceding the time when the blockade, trade flows between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were in the billions, and in the millions with Bahrain, the make up tank said.
Al-Jaida told CNBC there’s more work that still needs to be done in edifice trust between Qatar and its neighbors in the Gulf and Egypt, but “this is behind us, and we’re working towards a better future for the unmixed region, so everybody is optimistic.”