Despite the crisis in the region, Qatar has decided to offer the UAE gas at very competitive prices as it believed in the Gulf agreements and integration.
Highlighting that Doha’s imports from the three (siege) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries was high at 50% to 60% of total; he said this was concentrated in food and beverages (F&B), construction materials and industries that are needed to support the country’s growth.
It was also stressed that Qatar believed in the GCC agreements to foster the unity and development among the member countries, he specifically said Doha’s decision to keep gas export prices to the UAE “extremely low” vouches for its commitment towards the GCC integration.
Qatar has redesigned its supply chain since the blockade began. The country has turned to Oman, Turkey, Iran, India and China for transportation and also reoriented its maritime agreements.
Stressing that Qatar has learnt lessons from the blockade; Ibrahim said Doha has proactively taken steps towards achieving self-sufficiency, especially in the food sector, by giving subsidies but with certain conditions so as to avoid creating monopolies.
Qatar had last month unveiled its second five-year national development strategy, which focuses on building human and institutional capacities, developing entrepreneurial ecosystem and promoting research and development as part of efforts to achieve sustainable development and self-sufficiency.
Ibrahim explained that the development path can be divided into two stages with two distinct sets of objectives with the first stage being the implementation of Qatar energy development strategy and the second stage relating to the comprehensive development process.
“The energy development strategy aimed at maximising the yields of Qatar’s oil and gas reserves, and the optimal exploitation of these resources,” he said, adding the implementation of energy development strategy led to the growth of Qatar’s GDP from 2000 to 2011 (in real terms) at a high rate of 13%.
Qatar knew long before the drop in oil and gas prices, that the energy development strategy was not comprehensive, thus necessitating the shift to renewable elements of production as well as human capital and technology to achieve the sustainable development, Ibrahim said.