Boycott against Qatar loses its effect

By Middle East Affairs

Although a group of Arab countries are boycotting against Qatar for alleged ties to Islamic extremists, the mega-rich gulf state is hardly taking a hit, Reuters reports.

The International Monetary Fund put out a report that says Qatar’s banking system has recovered from initial outflows and the economy should grow 2.6 percent this year.

Fiscal deficit will narrow to about 6 percent of gross domestic product in 2017 from 9.2 percent in 2016, according to the IMF.

Saudi Arabia led the boycott, with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt following suit. They all cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar last June. The countries claim that Qatar supports terrorism, but Qatar denies it.

The move disrupted Doha’s imports and triggered the withdrawal of billions of dollars of deposits from Qatari banks, according to Reuters.

The boycott hurt second-quarter GDP but Qatar is the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas, the news agency says, and “responded by developing new trade routes, depositing state money in its banks and helping local firms to develop domestic output of some goods.”

 

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