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The Doha Skyline at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on November 17, 2016 in Doha, Qatar.
“Sometimes it’s a dollar and a half or two dollars from one side over the other because Qatar is not dependent on these economies, while some countries are dependent on trade flows with Qatar. So it’s important to say this: Qatar also has deposits in the region,” he said.
Other than outflows in deposits, Al-Kuwari said business is pretty much running as usual in the country despite the blockade, with the economy and financial system still strong. He acknowledged that the standstill could continue for some time, but posited that it is a good opportunity for Qatar to press on with strengthening its economy.
Qatar, the world’s largest gas exporter, has started diversifying its growth model away from the energy sector and is growing sectors such as education, healthcare and tourism.
Qatari banks have also started tapping international markets for funds, turnings to markets in Asia and Europe. Qatar National Bank itself just closed a bond issuance in Taiwan worth $630 million on Wednesday, Al-Kuwari said.
“This is an ongoing exercise for us, with or without the crisis, to tap into the markets and help us fund our books,” he said.