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Covid vaccine to boost Qatar's economy

A man wearing a mask, precaution against COVID-19 coronavirus disease in Doha, Qatar on 16 March 2020 [AFP/Getty Images]

Qatar's ability to vaccinate its residents is set to help the Gulf state's economy expand, according to the latest Middle East Economic Update report from Oxford Economics which was commissioned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Peninsula Qatar reports.

Qatar's non-oil sector, which grew by an average of 1.2 per cent per annum in 2017 to 2019 and contracted by an estimated 3.9 per cent in 2020, is expected to grow by 3.3 per cent in 2021, the report added.

"While the oil sector remains a drag on overall growth for the Qatar economy, preparation for the 2022 World Cup could play a huge role in an economic rebound. With COVID-19 vaccine drive underway, the Qatar government must continue to ramp up economic diversification efforts by developing sectors and industries that generate net value for economy and foster innovation, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030," Michael Armstrong, ICAEW regional director for Middle East, Africa and South Asia, said.

The political disjoint in the GCC has also weighed on foreign investment in the region, the report explained, in reference to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt's decision to severe ties with Doha in 2017 and impose a land, sea and air blockade on the small Gulf state.

"More harmony in the GCC would boost the region's attractiveness to foreign investors as the global economy recovers. While the upside potential would be greatest for Qatar, the benefits could accrue in the rest of the region too." it added.

The boycott came to an end in January with Qatar sending the first shipment of oil to the UAE earlier this month.

READ: Qatar, Egypt meet for first time since 2017 rift

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