67132
Prices of food items have risen but so far the government has been making up for the difference with subsidies, a policy that could become costly if the crisis escalates
Prices of food items have risen but so far the government has been making up for the difference with subsidies, a policy that could become costly if the crisis escalates

Qatar Shrugging Off Arab Embargo

Iran has been sending over 1,100 tons of fresh fruit and legumes every day and Turkish dairy producers have been quick to fill the fridges at Doha’s major supermarkets

Qatar Shrugging Off Arab Embargo

Qatar is not sounding the alarm bells just yet. When its neighbors severed diplomatic ties and cut land, sea and air links, panic rippled through the tiny Persian Gulf Arab state. There was a rush to buy food, people lined up at banks and stock prices slumped.
Now, three weeks into what Qatar calls a “blockade”, it is finding ways around the sanctions imposed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, who have accused their fellow Arab state of funding terrorism and destabilizing the Middle East, CNNMoney reported.
Qatar denies those claims, and appears to be prepared for a long dispute. The UAE warned this week that the pressure on its neighbor could last “years”.
Oil and gas accounts for more than half of the country’s GDP. Qatar is the world’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas, much of which comes from a giant offshore field that it shares with Iran.
Its biggest crude and gas customers include Japan, South Korea, India and Singapore. The UAE is also a big customer, sourcing 30% of its energy needs from Qatar, and a pipeline connecting the two countries is still pumping.
As long as those exports keep flowing, the pressure on Qatar’s economy should be eased.

  New Food Suppliers
Despite its wealth, the desert state relies heavily on imported food, a third of which used to come from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Early fears of shortages quickly subsided, in part because the government was able to find alternative suppliers.
Iran has been sending over 1,100 tons of fresh fruit and legumes every day. And Turkish dairy producers have been quick to fill the fridges at Doha’s major supermarkets.
“After the initial period of chaos, the government has responded, and is prepared to withstand this siege for a longer period, should there be a need,” said Adel Abdel Ghafar, visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center.
Prices have risen but so far the government has been making up for the difference with subsidies, a policy that could become costly if the crisis escalates, he added.
The embargo has forced freight companies to find new routes. Indian food suppliers, for example, used to make a stop in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Now they fly their products on cargo planes direct to Qatar.

  Migrant Workers Keep Coming
Only about 12% of Qatar’s population of 2.2 million are Qatari citizens and the state relies on foreign nationals to keep its economy ticking over. They work in every industry from healthcare and media, to education and energy.
The numbers are expected to peak this year as tens of thousands of migrants come from countries such as India and Nepal to help build stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.
The Philippines government was quick to ban its workers from going to Qatar when the Persian Gulf Arab dispute began, saying it was concerned about the welfare of its 140,000 citizens living in Doha.
It has since lifted the ban “in view of the normalization of conditions within the state of Qatar and with the guarantee of the safety for Filipinos there given by the Persian Gulf Arab state,” the Philippines’ government said in a statement.

  Flying High But Longer
The state’s national carrier was hard hit by the ban. It suddenly found 18 destinations out of bounds, forcing it to ground about 50 flights a day.
It also now has to avoid the airspace above the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia when flying anywhere in the world. This means longer flight times and more fuel costs for the airline. A direct flight from Doha to Khartoum now take about six hours, nearly twice as long as before the embargo.
Qatar Airways, which this week won the Skytrax “Airline of the Year” award, is unbowed.
CEO Akbar Al Baker said last week his airline is scheduling more flights to other destinations to make up for the lost business and will continue with plans to add 24 new destinations in the next 12 months.
Thanks to its huge mineral wealth, Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world by size of population. It sits on a $335 billion sovereign wealth fund and has major investments around the world. Its portfolio spans everything from stakes in Volkswagen to Tiffany & Co.
That hasn’t prevented some analysts from worrying. Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Qatar’s rating, warning that the diplomatic crisis could prompt investors to pull money out of the country. The Arab states boycotting Qatar still have major investments there.

Short URL : https://goo.gl/HnJW1b
  1. https://goo.gl/ujFE6P
  • https://goo.gl/qm5Nho
  • https://goo.gl/NZXbc3
  • https://goo.gl/QCDM24
  • https://goo.gl/VQqdC7

You can also read ...

Argentina Lacks Options to Defend Peso
With interest rates sky-high and the economy heading for...
Westinghouse Electric, the leading US nuclear fuel producer, said it relies on China for zirconium and zirconium powder  for use in nuclear fuel assemblies
A broad cross-section of US businesses has a message for the...
BMW Seeking Broader China Collaboration
The opening-up is an important policy and German carmaker BMW...
Turkey, Qatar in Currency Swap Deal
The central banks of Qatar and Turkey signed a currency swap...
Vehicle loans have rapidly expanded as cars purchased during a tax rebate scheme for first cars  in 2012-13 have begun to be replaced.
Consumer borrowing is accelerating significantly in Thailand...
Asian Countries Vie to Set Up Crypto Valleys
The race to establish cryptocurrency hubs in Asia is gathering...
International Labor Organization has called for stronger...
UK Business Pessimism Rising
Business leaders’ confidence in the British economy has fallen...

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints

Trending

Googleplus