16/04/2018 08:05 AST

Qatar, which has emerged stronger following the June 2017 economic blockade, has brought various reforms to transform the country into a self-reliant economy, a senior Doha Bank official has said.

Speaking before members of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) yesterday, Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman said these reforms include the new law for public private partnership (PPP), which will provide comfort to the private sector and foreign investors.

“Transportation and other infrastructure projects were assigned the largest share in the 2018 budget with allocations of QR42bn or 21% of total expenditure. Sports sector and 2022 FIFA World Cup projects amounted to a total allocation of QR11.2bn,” he continued.

Seetharaman, who delivered a brief insight on the Qatari economy, said Qatar will raise LNG production by 30% to 100mtpa within five to seven years after lifting a moratorium on gas development earlier in 2017.

On Qatar-Singapore bilateral relations, Seetharaman said the Southeast Asian nation gained “enhanced access” to Qatar for construction services and professional services such as legal, architectural, engineering, and urban planning.

“The Gulf Co-operation Council-Singapore Free Trade Agreement will provide more investment opportunities in Singapore for mutual benefits,” Seetharaman pointed out.

According to Seetharaman, major Singaporean companies are already working on infrastructure development in Qatar.

“There are plenty of areas, including telecommunications, electrical and electronic equipment, petrochemicals, jewellery, machinery and iron, as well as steel-related industries in which Qatari and Singaporean businesses can establish and enhance cooperation to facilitate bilateral trade relations. Qatar’s hospitality market is expected to demonstrate growth as Qatar begins preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” he added.

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