CATEGORY: Economic Snapshots
Four years after Saudi Arabia launched its Vision 2030 development strategy, the non-oil economy is benefitting from sustained reform as projects across a range of sectors come to fruition. Meanwhile, the country will become the first Arab nation to host the G20 Leaders’ Summit in November 2020, with the gathering set to address the unprecedented global economic challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic in the first half of the year. The Kingdom entered 2020 on the back of modest 0.3% growth in 2019 and despite early challenges, the economic and social measures that have been introduced in recent years bode well for the country’s health in the medium to long term.
As Qatar moves into the new decade the country is forging ahead with growth plans by emphasising economic diversification in line with Qatar National Vision 2030, while also working to increase the output of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by roughly two-thirds. Indeed, Qatar withdrew
from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries at the beginning of 2019 to focus on its gas sector, which produces one-third of
the world’s LNG. Furthermore, Qatar has a pipeline of $190bn in mega-projects across the economy, many of which will be completed in time
for the 2022 FIFA World Cup – an event that provides a unique showcase for the country’s economic achievements and plans for the future.
At home, Morocco has identified the reduction of social inequality as a key priority, setting in motion a series of reforms and transferring critical development funds to less-developed regions. Abroad, Morocco’s foreign policy objectives focus on spearheading intra-African cooperation and positioning itself at the centre of Europe-Africa relations. Gains were made on all these fronts in 2019, supported by growing GDP that reached $118.5bn in 2018. However, vulnerabilities remain in the form of a large agriculture sector dependent on weather and commodity prices, as well as a substantial energy import bill whose size is dictated by international oil and gas prices.