From Saudi Gazette http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/
22 February 2015
Qatar to spend $12.5b on housing until 2022
DOHA — An astronomical $12.5 billion (QR45.52 billion) is to be spent to create adequate housing stocks in Qatar to cater to the growing population ahead of 2022 FIFA World Cup. The sum, to be spent over the next seven years, will also cover the basic infrastructure needed to create and support the massive housing stocks, Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed Al Thani said in Tokyo the other day.
Addressing elite members of the Japanese corporate world, Sheikh Ahmed reiterated Qatar’s resolve to complete all 2022-related projects despite the falling oil prices.
He said: “The projects linked to 2022 are stimulants for the Qatari economy and that’s why the World Cup fixture is so important for us”.
“Qatar is committed to completing all 2022-linked projects in time. None of these projects will be delayed.”The minister was part of the Qatari delegation that accompanied the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on his official visit to Japan. Several top Qatari businessmen, CEOs of private and public sector corporations, heads of key state institutions and agencies, among others, were in the delegation.
Sheikh Ahmed said Japanese businesses and investors were welcome to take part in the development projects related to the World Cup.
The total value of these projects is a huge $200 billion, of which nearly a fourth ($45 billion) is being spent on Lusail City alone.
The minister said that Lusail City would house some 450,000 people and the stadium being built there will host the opening and closing ceremonies and the final match of the 2022 tournament.
According to him, $3 billion is being spent on building stadiums. At least three workshops were held as part of the meeting between the Qatari and Japanese businessmen.
Various agreements were signed during the meeting, including one on cooperation between Qatar University and a number of Japanese educational institutions.
The minister highlighted Qatar’s economic diversification plans and said efforts in this regard were bearing fruit as the non-hydrocarbons sector had a share of almost 50 percent in the country’s economy. In 2013, its share in the GDP was 46 percent.
The private sector’s contribution to the economy is also rising rapidly as evidenced by its increasing share in the GDP (from $33 billion in 2009 to $58 billion in 2013).
Qatar’s trade surplus has risen massively, from a mere $23 billion in 2009 to $110 billion in 2013, due to fast-expanding exports. The revenue from exports amounted to $137 billion in 2013.
Japan is one of Qatar’s major trade partners and remains the largest importer of Qatari oil and gas.
The total value of Qatar’s exports to Japan in 2013 was $40 billion, while the trade volume between the two countries totalled $42 billion during the year. Automobiles comprised a big chunk of Japanese exports to Qatar. Vehicle imports totalled $2 billion in 2014, according to the minister. — SG/Agencies