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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022 to boost Qatar’s economy, IMF says


The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is expected to boost Qatar’s economy gradually, leading to growth in many sectors in the next few years.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF),  a global organisation that fosters global monetary cooperation, believes the 2022 FIFA World Cup to gradually boost Qatar’s economy.

“We expect the Qatar economy to recover next year with positive growth,” said Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department, at IMF.

During a virtual media event to present the regional economic outlook, IMF said that Qatar is expected to greatly benefit from the upcoming global sporting event, especially given the country’s exceptional and quick response to the pandemic. 

“The situation in Qatar to a great extent is similar to what we see in other countries. Qatar has worked directly in order to face the pandemic with a number of protective measures and health measures as well,” said Azour.

“In addition, it has taken certain measures to support the situation of the citizens and to safeguard a number of programmes that would contribute mitigating the repercussions of this pandemic on the economy of Qatar.”

During the event, Azour highlighted that the decline in gas and oil prices impacted the economy, which then affected the investments made by Qatar for World Cup preparations. 

“So, overall, it is expected that the economy of Qatar will decline in terms of growth, which will be positive 4% to 5% this year and it will be expected to recover next year with positive growth,” he added.

Azour also highlighted h0w all countries in the region responded swiftly to COVID-19 challenges, helping them cope with the pandemic through enhancing health sectors and helping businesses. 

However, given the uncertainty of when the pandemic will be over countries might still be affected and continue to face a difficult economic climate.

According to the IMF, growth is projected at minus 6.6% in 2020 for oil exporters in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan region. This, along with other economic statistics, reflect the harsh impact of the decline in oil prices and production cuts, as well as the lockdowns.

“While we undoubtedly face many more difficult days, the goal of building inclusive, prosperous, and resilient economies through the regions remain within reach in the coming years. And we look forward to working together with countries in the region to achieve this goal,” 

Read more: Qatar’s GDP to hit $208bn by 2024

With the pandemic prolonging more than expected, Azour said the pandemic may “inflict deeper and more persistent economic scarring” than previous recessions in the region. 

“IMF commitments to the region are never stronger than in times of great challenge. So far this year, the fund has provided nearly $17bn in financing to 14 countries in the region, increasing IMF’s credit outstanding by nearly 50 percent relative to 2019. 

“We will continue working with the authorities to provide policy advice, technical assistance, and financial support when needed,” he added

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