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Qatar Takes Strong Steps To Boost Economy And Ensure Security Amid Crisis

Photo: The Wall Street Journal

Qatar has been under siege since June after being isolated by its neighbours for alleged terror support, however, it has not stopped Qatar from accelerating efforts to boost and economy and security.

In the recent cabinet session, a draft law to grant permanent residency to foreigners was approved. Qatar is the first country in the region to approve such a draft, the move will likely promote Qatar as a more attractive destination for expats.

Qatar’s foreign minister announced a deal worth $5 billion with Italian naval vessels to enhance its military capabilities.

Emir had asked his minister to concentrate on improving sectors that are important to the country. Qatar’s population is around 2.26 million, in which only 12% are Qatari citizens.

Qatar is relying on its western allies and global organisations to resolve the crisis, which is slowly hurting its economy. The transport ban has interrupted the smooth flow of vital imports like food and construction materials, add to that the airspace ban, which has only worsen the crisis.

Analysts tracking Qatar’s economy say imports contracted by 40% year-over-year in June, citing Qatar’s trade data, weighing on its non-oil economy.

“We believe that the impact would have been particularly strong in June, given the time needed to reroute imports,” said Monica Malik, the chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Meanwhile, Qatar opened new trade routes through Oman ports and Iranian airspace, and has penned deals with suppliers from Turkey.

Though the imports will be managed in the coming days, the cost of these routes will surely be expensive if the siege continues. Doha filed a legal complaint with the WTO against the Saudi-led bloc for violation of laws.

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