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Qatar calls for greater GCC cooperation as it diversifies economy

Prime minister of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said GCC states need to coordinate their efforts in sectors such as AI imago images/photothek via Reuters Connect
The prime minister of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said GCC states need to coordinate their efforts in sectors such as AI
  • Qatar wants GCC cooperation
  • AI and semiconductors a focus
  • Wealth fund wants stable returns

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund will continue a policy of diversification, investing in Central Asia and Africa, but Gulf countries need to do more to unify their economic growth plans to face rising geopolitical risks, Qatar’s prime minister said on Tuesday. 

“Our focus in terms of the sovereign wealth fund and investment continues following the strategy of diversification, which is that we invest everywhere in the world where there is a high return,” Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha. 

“We are trying to expand to new emerging markets like the Central Asian region and Africa.

“We want to make sure that these investments are not high risk, ensuring stability of the jurisdictions where we are investing and ensuring suitable income.” 

The Qatar Investment Authority said on May 13 it will invest in Ardian Semiconductor​, a French investment house that oversees or advises on $164 billion of assets. 

“This investment demonstrates QIA’s position as the financial partner of choice in key technology sub-sectors, including semiconductor and semiconductor supply chain,” it said. 

The Qatari prime minister said GCC countries should coordinate their efforts in areas such as artificial intelligence and semiconductors, but warned of rising security risks related to the war in Gaza, including the possibility of radicalisation around the region. 

“Our focus is how to become more complementary for other countries in the region as well – there are ambitious plans in the UAE and Saudi Arabia,” he said.

“When the world is looking at us, they see the GCC as one unit. Whatever any country does, the others will have indirect benefit. There is huge potential there.” 

Gulf countries are planning to introduce a GCC-wide visa that would allow residents and visitors to travel to all the bloc’s countries, which have similar plans to increase tourism and attract foreign investment as part of their economic diversification. 

Qatar, one of the world’s top exporters of liquefied natural gas, wants to grow its non-hydrocarbon economy by 4 percent per year but will also increase LNG production by 85 percent to 142 million tonnes per year by 2030, minister of finance Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwait said at the forum. 

“That will make it difficult to diversify the economy but we believe LNG will be a transit energy for a long time and this will help us to bring us the funds to be invested in our Vision 2030 and Future Generation Fund,” he said. 

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