business

Qatar Economy Can Survive ‘Forever’ Under Embargo, Minister Says

  • State support has been minimal, Qatar’s economy minister says
  • Country has found new trade routes, partners since June

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Al Thani, Qatar's economy and commerce minister, speaks to an attendee on day two of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Qatar’s economy performed better than expected last year and required “minimal” government support to blunt the effects of a trade and diplomatic embargo by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries, a minister said.

There are no signs of a resolution to the crisis, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Qatar’s minister of economy and commerce, told Bloomberg TV in an interview in Davos. Government support for the economy was needed only in the first few weeks, focusing mostly on logistics to reroute imports, he said.

“We opened new routes, we opened new markets, and we are trading with the whole world. The world is not only these four countries,” Sheikh Ahmed said. “From an economic point of view we can live forever without those countries.”

The gas-rich country has been boycotted by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt since June. It found support from countries such as Turkey and Iran to keep its food supply and logistics sectors intact. The country’s reserves also helped to cushion the impact on its economy and financial system.

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