Qatar will continue to be one of the world’s fastest-growing economies in 2012, said George Nasra, managing director, International Bank of Qatar at MEED Qatar Projects 2012 conference in Doha today.

He also said that he did not think that Qatar would be significantly affected by the spillover from the Eurozone crisis.

“Real GDP [gross domestic product] growth is forecast to be at least 5.7 per cent in the year,” Nasra said. “Qatar will therefore continue to grow at a rate that is much higher than other countries in the region. The Qatari government is expected to generate a budget surplus of about $75bn in the next five years.”

Nasra said that the Qatar government has reserves of $100bn-150bn. “On top of that, Qatar has substantial borrowing capacity,” he added.

Nasra said that he expected European banks to reduce their lending and sell assets to satisfy new capital adequacy regulations. “But will this affect the financing of Qatar projects?,” Nasra said. “Not much. Why? It is because the majority of Qatar projects will be financed by the government.”

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