Qatar showmanship fizzles out: Announces investments in nations while its economy suffers amid World Cup preparations

Qatar’s economy is experiencing a down spin as it got overburdened with building $200 billion of infrastructure for the 2022 football World Cup. Qatar’s Planning and Statistics Authority revealed the state of the country’s internal economy, which reflected negative statistics. It mentioned that the nation has reduced the construction work by 1.2% in the first quarter of 2019, as compared to the previous year. This is the first time, since the preparation for the football game began, that the Gulf nation’s data negative figures. Before the slump, it grew at an annual average of 18% a quarter since the end of 2012.

Even Qatar’s property market felt the jolt of the slump in the economy with oversupply and low sales. Drop in the oil prices and regional boycott for aiding and sheltering terrorist and extremist organizations are said to be the key reasons behind the crisis. Qatar’s fiscal balance has suffered throughout 2015‑19 as the government ramps up World Cup-related investments. In reality, one of the richest nations of the world felt jitters in its economy for overspending but not only on World Cup preparations.

Since the Gulf country won the bid to the world’s most popular sporting event, it has been surrounded with controversies, unexpectedly winning the rights to host being the first. It is said that Qatari official paid more than $5 million to secure support for the bid.

Given the scale of the football project, the impact over the economy is bound to be huge. But what is suspicious is that despite a limping economy, Qatar recently made an announcement of investing $3 billion in Pakistan. London-based consultancy, Cornerstone Global Associates, brought out a report presenting a summary of the geopolitical implications of the proposed investment and assessment of Qatar’s ability to fulfill its commitment.

As per the report, Doha has been unable to fulfill its previous investment pledges, including to Turkey, let alone its recent commitment to Pakistan. Qatar wants to invest in Pakistan to make it part of an Islamic alliance, along with Turkey and Iran. The Gulf country is trying to establish a chain of Muslim brotherhood’s base from Asia to Europe. Qatar wanted to win Pakistan on its side before it joined the Saudi camp as in February 2019, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman signed investment agreements worth $20 billion with Pakistan.

In December, Qatar’s embassy in Washington sponsored a trip for six of the Democrats to win them over to create a strong pro-Qatar lobby in Washington. The lobby would help Doha in building a convincing global cover-up, when needed, for its illegal activities including money laundering, human trafficking and funding terror outfits.

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