Qatar economy to grow 3 pct in 2021 on resolution of Gulf dispute: Standard Chartered

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Qatar’s economy will grow 3% as the easing of a three-year-old regional dispute will help trade, tourism, and logistics, Standard Chartered said, revising its previous 2.1% growth estimate.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies agreed on Tuesday to end the Gulf dispute which started in mid-2017 over allegations that Qatar supports terrorism, charges it has denied.

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“We see the lifting of restrictions on trade and travel on Qatar as adding impetus to the ongoing recovery in trade, tourism and logistics,” Standard Chartered said in a note on Wednesday.

It said the United Arab Emirates lifting restrictions on trade and travel to Qatar could also help the UAE’s trade recovery, “possibly leading to less trade and transit volume via Oman’s port and airport,” after Oman benefited from the re-routing of some trade during the embargo.

Another benefit could be a convergence in Qatar’s onshore and offshore spot currency rates, as foreign liquidity stands to benefit from the lifting of the embargo, it said.

The bank’s revised growth forecast is higher than the 2.2% forecast Qatar gave last month in its 2021 budget.

“Regionally, the boost to consumer and investor sentiment and lower perceived geopolitical risk may contribute positively to economic outcomes, particularly ahead of significant events such as EXPO 2020, set to be hosted by Dubai in October 2021, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha,” it said.

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