DOHA: Minister of Finance H E Ali Sherif Al Emadi yesterday said that Qatar’s insurance sector has huge growth potential as the total volume of untapped insurance premium can reach $12bn (about QR43.70bn) if the country achieves the insurance penetration level of 6 percent of GDP, currently the global average.
Qatar’s insurance premium in 2015 accounted for 1 percent of the GDP which stood at $2bn (about QR7.28bn) for the year.
The Minister in his opening address at the 10th edition of ‘Multaqa Qatar 2016’ stressed that the Qatar seeks to promote the role of insurance sector and its contribution to the GDP.
The Minister also said that there are promising opportunities to achieve this through the development of legislative and regulatory framework while working to provide innovative insurance products able to meet local market needs and be compatible with the requirements of society.
He highlighted that Qatar as part of its National Vision 2030 development strategy is committed to investing heavily in the fields of socio-economic and environmental sectors which include education, healthcare, ICT and scientific research and development to transform the economy into a knowledge-based society.
The Minister reiterated that Qatar attaches great importance to investment in the human resources, and that it is keen on stepping up investments these sector. Qatar also continues to implement major projects in the infrastructure and transportation sectors, in addition to those projects associated with hosting the 2022 Fifa World Cup, he added explaining that these investments represent a supporting engine to non-oil sectors.
Commenting on the current situation in the global energy markets, he said that Qatar has applied a balanced fiscal policy which aims at increasing the efficiency of public spending in relation to the ongoing operational expenses, with a focus on continuing to implement major development projects in order to ensure continued economic growth.
Al Emadi also highlighted that the insurance sector is one of the important pillars of doing business in various economic fields because of its close association with the process of risk management and for being one of the largest investment areas in the global capital markets, in addition to its pivotal role for long-term financing, including financing of infrastructure projects.
Commenting on the event, co-hosted by Qatar Financial Center (QFC) and Qatar Central Bank (QCB), and organised by GR Global Re-Insurance, he said that ‘Multaqa Qatar 2016’ is one of the most important events in the Middle East in its field.
The three-day event has gathered experts from more than 30 countries taking part this year to discuss strategic matters pertaining to the insurance and reinsurance sector.
The Minister also hailed the role of QFC as it provides a good platform to companies looking to invest in Qatar.
The Minister highlighted that the center (QFC) has a stable legislative framework which allows a 100 percent foreign ownership as well as repatriating the entire profits abroad. These benefits have made Qatar among the top 14 attractive investment destinations in the world referring to the Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016.
On the economic outlook of the country he noted that it remains positive on the medium term as the huge investments in infrastructure and the enhancement of the non-oil sector’s role has helped the outlook remain encouraging.