Qatar PMI falls in March, reflecting disruption from global coronavirus outbreak

7 Apr 2020

PMI by IHS Markit

Doha, Qatar

Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world's leading and fastest growing onshore business and financial centres, organised the 'QFC Ambassador Roundtable', an inaugural event held in line with the QFC's commitment to bolster ties with key countries through commercial exchange and in the process to attract additional foreign firms to the Qatari market by offering privileged access through the QFC's  unique platform.

 

An enhanced interactive dialogue on key issues saw the participation of several esteemed Ambassadors, Commercial and trade attachés, and senior officials from various business councils. These discussions revolved around recent developments pertaining to expanded bilateral relations, novel strategic MoUs, and the increased use of and interest in the QFC's platform from the various countries represented at the roundtable. Concurrently, the QFC spoke to its own increased focus on strategic sectors as part of its 2022 strategy, including FinTech, Sports and digital. The resulting conversation addressed issues of importance to QFC business councils and foreign enterprises, including the recently approved process that allows non-regulated firms to participate in public tenders.

 

The 'QFC Ambassador Roundtable' put into spotlight Qatar's increasingly competitive business environment. The QFC spoke to its role that contributed to Qatar being rated as a top 20 global business environment performer in the World Bank/IFC's Doing Business 2020 Report. Coupled with projected strong growth across diverse industries, lucrative opportunities are fuelling growth of foreign direct investment into Qatar. QFC plays a key role in attracting such investment through its hosting of regular business delegations and the provision of efficient structures for successful business journeys into Qatar.

 

In his keynote speech, Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority, said

The accelerating global coronavirus outbreak interrupted the recent upward momentum of the Qatari non-energy private sector economy in March, according to the latest PMI data. The PMI ended the first quarter with an average reading of 48.2, broadly in line with the final quarter of 2019. Without the disruption in March, the PMI trend for the first quarter would have been the strongest in over a year. With great uncertainty surrounding the long-term impact of the outbreak on the global economy, firms' expectations for activity were broadly neutral in March. More positively, employment increased further and prices charged for goods and services rose at the fastest rate since January 2018.

Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad Al-Thani, Managing Director Business Development, QFC Authority