World Economic Forum Names Sheikha Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani as Young Global Leader

11 Mar 2021

The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) survey data from Qatar Financial Centre signalled a record improvement in operating conditions in the non-energy economy this September.

Output, new orders and purchasing activity all rose at the second-fastest rates on record, while backlogs accumulated at a faster pace despite a sharper rise in employment. Survey data also indicated the strongest 12-month outlook for nearly a year, amidst growing wage pressures and other immediate capacity concerns.

The Qatar PMI indices are compiled from survey responses from a panel of nearly 400 private sector companies. The panel covers the manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail, and services sectors, and reflects the structure of the non-energy economy according to official national accounts data.

The headline IHS Markit Qatar PMI is a composite single-figure indicator of non-energy private sector performance. It is derived from indicators for new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases.

The PMI rose for the fourth month running to 60.6 in September, from 58.2 in August. The latest figure signalled the strongest overall improvement in operating conditions since the survey began in April 2017, surpassing the previous record high of 59.8 in July 2020. Business conditions have improved for 15 successive months, the longest sequence in the survey’s history.

On a quarterly basis, the PMI averaged 58.2 in the third quarter, the highest on record. The previous quarterly peak was 56.2 in the third quarter of 2020 as the economy rebounded from lockdown.

Sub-sector data signalled marked growth across all four main categories. Manufacturing registered the strongest performance in September, followed by services, wholesale & retail, and construction, respectively.

The headline PMI was positively influenced by four of its five components in September. The 2.4-point upward movement in the PMI since July mainly reflected the new orders (+1.3) and output (+1.1) components, followed by employment (+0.2) and stocks of purchases (+0.2). The suppliers' delivery times component weighed slightly on the headline figure (-0.3) in the latest period.

New business growth accelerated for an unprecedented fourth successive month in September, with the overall pace of expansion almost matching the record high set in July 2020 when the economy rebounded with the unlocking of coronavirus restrictions. New business rose particularly strongly at services firms, followed by manufacturing.

A similar trend was evident for total business activity, growth of which quickened for the fourth month running to the second strongest on record. Meanwhile, the volume of outstanding business rose for the twelfth straight month, and at one of the fastest rates indicated by the survey to date. This occurred despite investment in workforces, with non-energy employment rising at one of the fastest rates in the survey history in September, and the strongest wage inflation since February 2019. Qatari firms were increasingly confident of growth over the next 12 months. Business expectations were the highest since October 2020.


QFC Qatar PMI vs. GDP



“The recent strength in the PMI strongly indicates that overall economic growth will rebound in the second and third quarters, showing that Qatar’s economy is on the path to strong recovery after facing a relatively challenging period brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Qatar’s comprehensive set of measures to ensure that the economy is shielded from the adverse effects of the pandemic continue to contribute to the strength we currently witness.

"Qatar's non-energy private sector economy continued to take off in September, with the PMI ascending to a new all-time high of 60.6 The latest figure signals even stronger growth than that registered during the post-lockdown bounce last July, when the PMI peaked at 59.8.

"Although the rates of expansion in total activity and new business did not quite reach their previous records, they were nonetheless the second-fastest in the survey history, as was the increase in buying activity. The rate of workforce growth was among the strongest registered in four-and-a-half years of data collection, with companies also boosting wages and salaries.” 

Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad Al-Thani,
Deputy CEO & Chief Business Officer, QFC Authority  


This recognition is also an acknowledgement of the outstanding business environment in Qatar, and particularly of the QFC.

Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority

I am humbled to represent Qatar as one of this year’s Young Global Leaders and proud to join other members from a diverse mix of nations.

Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad Al-Thani, Managing Director, QFC

Commenting on the opening of the representative office at QFC, Nasser Al-Taweel, Deputy CEO & Chief Legal Officer, QFC, said: “We are delighted with the opening of the Ministry of Justice’s office at the QFC that will allow QFC entities greater access to a portfolio of essential services. This is a significant step in the development of a more cohesive business ecosystem in Qatar in line with the government’s efforts to make it easier to do business in the country. Main services that will be provided by the office are real estate registration and authentication services to QFC entities. It is such partnerships and integration that stand as a witness to the initiatives of the government to attract and retain investors.” 

Al-Taweel continued: “QFC continues to undertake several legal and structural enhancements, together with process improvements, to encourage a broader range of professional and business services firms to be licensed, facilitated by streamlined processes, which has significantly improved the overall applications process. With the ability of QFC entities to own property across the country in line with the applicable laws of the State of Qatar and the relevant QFC regulations, the opening of the MoJ office will indeed facilitate such transactions” 

“With Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) expected to flourish in Qatar’s market as investors continue to look into diversifying their portfolios through affordable and low-risk routes with long-term returns, QFC has a unique regime for REITs within its platform. We encourage both local and international entities to use this unique opportunity and start their ventures at QFC. The MoJ office, now open at QFC, will provide vital support along the way,” added Al-Taweel. 

Mr. Saeed Abdullah Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Real Estate Registration and Authentication Affairs at MoJ, said: “The inauguration of this office at QFC comes within the framework of the MOJ’s strategy to expand its Real Estate Registration and Authentication offices across the country and in governmental entities to ensure easy access to real estate registration and authentication services, enhancing the country’s attractiveness and business ecosystem.”

Al Suwaidi noted that this office will serve local and international investors registered at QFC and has been equipped with latest technologies and logistics to facilitate access to integrated legal and business services, including fast and flexible digital services. It follows clearly defined guidelines and regulations for fair and transparent process to help businesses grow and compete in Qatar within a legal system that meets their aspirations and conform to Qatar National Vision 2030.

He also added: “The MoJ, under the guidance of H.E. Masoud Mohammed Al-Amri, Minister of Justice, is currently transforming manual operations to comprehensive e-services, without having to visit the Ministry or its service centres. This will ensure that applicants visit the Ministry only to obtain the legal or real estate documents, which will reflect positively on the quality of services provided at the Ministry’s centres and outside offices.” 

Al Suwaidi has also indicated that the MoJ is a key partner in the Single-Window initiative, as well as in all governmental projects related to improving investment climate in the Country. “Thanks to these efforts, Qatar ranks first globally in facilitating procedures to obtain ownership according to World Bank’s ranking of ease of doing business in 2020. These facilities are currently being offered through a single window in the Ministry’s offices for the ownership and use of real estates in Pearl and Lusail, which serves the real estate investment industry generally and establishes adequate framework to receive investors from inside and outside the country. Moreover, the Ministry also provides authentication and attestation services for corporates’ contracts at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as part of its efforts to facilitate procedures for clients and investors,” added Al Suwaidi. 

The Assistant Undersecretary for Real Estate Registration and Authentication Affairs at the MoJ thanked QFC for this opportunity and support to the Ministry’s plan to expand its services offered to clients and investors and expressed confidence that this experience will enhance the platform’s mandate in attracting regional and international new businesses to register and conduct business activities in Qatar.


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