Qatars infrastructure programme for the Fifa 2022 World Cup could face delays, according to the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS).
A recent study released by the ministry said that continued volatility in the oil sector is likely to have a major impact on construction projects leading up to the event in 2022.
Most risks to the outlook are grounded in international oil price movements, the MDPS said in its Qatar Economic Outlook study. If they [oil prices] remain low for an extended period, the fiscal and external accounts deficit will be more pronounced requiring funding efforts, it stated.
The report adds that volaltility in global financial markets spilling over into the local economy is squeezing liquidity and increasing the cost of funding on international markets for Qatari institutions. Other downside risks include delays or cost overruns (or both) in the delivery of key infrastructure projects and a slower than anticipated pace of fiscal reforms.
Since winning the rights to host the tournament in 2010, several key infrastructure project have moved forward in Qatar, including the Doha Metro. In 2015, the government said it would prioritise projects directly related to the World Cup in light of low oil prices and strained government budgets.
The ministry also said it expects fiscal deficits to persist until 2018. The deficit is expected to increase to 7.9 per cent of GDP in 2017 before easing to 4.2 per cent in 2018.