Qatar's record $30bn construction projects in 2015
GCC state to push spending on infrastructure mega projects to $30bn this year as nation build towards 2022 FIFA World CUp
With more than $30bn worth of new projects lined up in 2015, Qatar’s infrastructure projects pipeline is flourishing.
Leading the way, Ashghal’s Expressway and Local Roads and Drainage Programmes are driving the record year, as well as significant investment in real estate and transport projects such as Msheireb, Lusail and the New Port Project.
The $5bn-plus Al-Karaana petrochemical complex, the $2bn-plus rolling stock and systems contract on the Doha Metro, and five main multi-billion-dollar packages on the mega water reservoirs main packages, will further boost the year.
“Despite falling oil prices, with around $30bn worth of projects, 2014 witnessed a 25% increase in project spending as compare to the year 2013, and there will continue to be an upward trend in project activity,” said an industry source.
As the fastest-growing economy in the GCC, leading up to 2020, the country forges ahead with one of the world’s most comprehensive and ambitious economic development and infrastructure programmes, the World Cup 2022 and associated infrastructure.
Qatar is the Middle East’s most creditworthy economy, with Standard & Poor’s credit rating at AA. Moodys rating for Qatar sovereign debt is Aa2.
According to the Qatar’s Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics, Qatar’s economy will expand by 7.7% in 2015, fuelled by solid expansion in non-hydrocarbon activities, providing evidence that the world’s leading LNG exporter expects lower oil prices will have minimal impact on growth.
The economy will continue to be propelled by investment spending, an expansionary fiscal stance and population growth, the ministry said. “In calendar years 2014-2016, the overall fiscal balance is expected to stay in surplus,” it stated.
The IMF’s annual Article IV report on the Qatar economy published earlier this year showed Qatar’s budget and balance of payments’ surpluses were by far the highest in the region and were among the largest in the world. Its financial reserves are more than 100% of GDP.
“Qatar has ample policy space to deal with unexpected circumstances in the short term,” the IMF said. “Fiscal buffers and remaining natural resources are sizeable and spending is unlikely to be affected by a drop in hydrocarbon prices or market volatility in the near term.”
Qatar’s oil and gas wealth per capita is the highest in the world. “Qatar has enormous oil and gas wealth, especially in relation to the size of its national population,” Qatar National Bank said in a report in September. “At current extraction rates Qatar’s proven gas reserves would last at least another 156 years.” Combined oil and gas production in 2014 is equivalent to more than 2 million barrels a day.