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  • » 03/08/2018, 08.33


    IMF: Doha stronger than the Saudi block, but risk remains

    For experts, the economic and financial impact of the stand-off between Qatar and Saudi Arabia is "weakening", but there are still factors of uncertainty. Liquidity flow and the intervention of the Central Bank offset the 40 billion dollar hole. The possible drop in hydrocarbon prices is worrying.

    Doha (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The economic and financial impact of the more than nine month Saudi Arabian blockade on Doha "are weakening"; however, there are still "certain elements of risk" for the Gulf emirate. This is what the experts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) say, according to which the Doha leaders have been able to open new avenues to trade and the growth indices remain always positive.

    For months Qatar has been at the center of a serious political, diplomatic and economic crisis that pits it against the other Gulf countries, led by Riyadh. According to some, the clash between Qatar and Saudi Arabia originates from the ties between Doha and Tehran, the number one enemy of the Saudis in the region, and the supposed support for terrorist groups. In fact behind the controversy - which also involved the Qatar Al Jazeera satellite channel, which Riyadh wants shut down  - there would be a counterattack within Sunni Islam and, in particular, between Doha and Abu Dhabi.

    An IMF report released in recent days shows that the effects of the economic blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt - which cut off all diplomatic and commercial relations with Doha last June – have been "transitory" . If, on the one hand, foreign financing and private deposits decreased by about 40 billion dollars, on the other hand the decline was offset by injections of liquidity by the Central Bank and the Qatar investment authority.

    Like other Gulf nations that base their wealth on energy production, Qatar has suffered the backlash caused by the global collapse in oil and natural gas prices. This has imposed the introduction of austerity measures based to guarantee the state budget, in the face of a series of economic indicators that show a negative balance: in the non-hydrocarbons, 2017 showed a growth of 4%, down from at 5.6% of the previous year. Last year's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 2.1%, a slight decline compared to 2.2% in 2016. The budget deficit fell to 6.0% of GDP, compared to 9, 2% of the previous year.

    The great crisis that was feared due to the blockade of the Gulf countries did not materialize, but according to IMF experts, elements of risk remain. The main ones, they explain, "concern the possibility of a fall in oil prices, the application of fiscal measures and the uncertainties linked to the persistence of the diplomatic controversy".

    In the past, Qatar depended largely on imports from neighbouring Saudi Arabia for food stocks, including milk and other dairy products. Hence the need for 2.7 million inhabitants to find alternative sources for food supplies [read Turkey, Iran and Morocco], while strengthening domestic production.

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    See also

    05/06/2017 09:29:00 QATAR - GULF
    Arab front against Qatar accused of fomenting terrorism and undermining regional security

    Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates close their borders and break o0ff diplomatic relations with Doha. Its policies and support for extremist groups are a source of instability for the Middle East. Over the past few weeks, supposed statements about Iran by Qatari Emir had fueled tension.

    05/07/2017 09:49:00 EGYPT - QATAR - GULF
    Gulf Crisis: The anti-Qatar front meets in Cairo. For Doha "impractical" requests

    Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt due to meet today. Yesterday, Qatar responded to the list of requests from the Gulf allies. No news is leaked on the content of the letter. Qatar's foreign minister termed demands made of Doha  "unrealistic and impracticable" and denounced an attack on "freedom of thought".

    12/06/2017 09:27:00 IRAN - QATAR - GULF
    Iran sends food and raw materials to Qatar to ease Gulf blocakde

    Tehran sent five planes loaded with fresh food, such as vegetables and fruit. Each aircraft contained 90 tons of freight. Three ships ready to sail with 350 tons of food on board. The aid could go on "as long as it is requested". With the entry of Qatari airplanes, 17% increase in air traffic in Iran.

    15/06/2017 09:06:00 QATAR - USA
    The United States sells weapons to Qatar for $ 12 billion

    The sale of at least 36 US-F-15 hunters is expected. Signature comes amid heightened tensions between Doha and Saudi Arabia and after sale of $ 400 billion in arms to Riyadh. Pentagon: an "agreed" sale  to "increase security cooperation”. 

    14/06/2017 12:06:00 QATAR - GULF - USA - EU
    Europe’s absence and America’s interests in crisis between Riyadh and Doha

    The stand-off between Saudi Arabia and Qatar is generating a wave of tension in the Middle East. And among Sunnis and Shiites for primacy in Islam. Riyadh’s aggressive policy supported by Trump for economic reasons. Brussels incapable of favoring the recognition of political, social and religious pluralism.

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