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Sunday, February 28, 2021

‘If we lose a dollar, they will also lose a dollar’ – Qatar minister

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Minister of Finance Ali Shareef Al Emadi

Qatar is not the only one who stands to lose from the ongoing Gulf crisis, the country’s finance minister has warned.

Speaking to CNBC yesterday, Ali Shareef Al Emadi said that the countries who imposed sanctions on Doha have done a lot of damage to business across the region.

“A lot of people think we’re the only ones to lose in this… If we’re going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also,” he said.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

He added that Qatar is well resourced to withstand the current rift with its neighbors.

“Look at the banks, look at the grocery store, look at the business, go to the malls. We are business as usual. Qatar is always open for business…We have what it takes to defend if we have to do anything locally,” he told CNBC.

Economic concerns

Yesterday, ratings agency Fitch warned that Qatar’s AA credit rating could be hurt if the Gulf crisis lasts too long.

But officials have been working overtime to show that the economy is remaining strong after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties.

Qatar has found new sources for food imports, new routes for port shipments and maintained its natural gas exports.

And after falling over the past week, Qatar’s exchange also got back on solid ground yesterday, an indication that confidence in the country’s economy was being restored.

According to Al Emadi:

“Our reserves and investment funds are more than 250 percent of gross domestic product, so I don’t think there is any reason that people need to be concerned about what’s happening or any speculation on the Qatari riyal.”

The minister concluded, “We are extremely comfortable with our positions, our investments and liquidity in our systems.”

He added that he saw no need for the government to step into the market and buy bonds.

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