Business optimism index reveals Qatari business cautiously optimistic for Q2 2013

by  — 2 June 2013

Qatar’s business community remains cautiously optimistic despite global economic uncertainty and downward pressure on oil prices, according to the Dun and Bradstreet (D&B;) Business Optimism Index (BOI) survey for Qatar for Q2 2013.

Almost half of respondents identified no negative factors hampering their business during the survey period, although the main challenge cited was difficulty in finding skilled labour. You can read more n Qatar’s battle to retain skilled talent here.

Commenting on the findings of the latest survey Prashant Kumar, associate director, Dun and Bradstreet South Asia Middle East Ltd., said, “The government’s policy of targeted infrastructure investment to encourage economic diversification and growth in non-hydrocarbon sectors has kept business confidence more or less steady. There has been only a slight decrease in the optimism levels of the non-hydrocarbon and hydrocarbon sectors of 5 points and 3 points respectively in Q2 2013. The Qatari business community is confident of withstanding the continuing consequences of the global economic crisis. In the hydrocarbon sector 48 percent, and in the non-hydrocarbon sector 46 percent, of respondents maintain that no negative factors will impact their business this quarter.” 

Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Strategic Development Officer, QFC Authority, said,“Qatar’s economy is robust and resilient, as this survey demonstrates. The Qatari business community’s continued optimism is soundly based. The strong growth of the non-hydrocarbon sector shows that economic diversification is gathering momentum. A notable example is the rapid expansion of the financial sector, which the QFC has a mandate to help develop.”

On behalf of Qatari Businessmen Association, HE Sheikh Mohamad bin Faisal bin Qassim al Thani, commented, “The Qatari business community is optimistic about our country’s development, which has been and remains a remarkable growth story. We are committed to invest in wealth creation to help meet the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030, under the wise guidance of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, The Emir of the State of Qatar and His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, The Heir Apparent, and play our part in diversifying the economy through entrepreneurship and expanding the private sector.”

Factors Impacting Qatari Business Optimism

Of the respondents in the non-hydrocarbon sector, 46 percent do not anticipate any negative factors hampering business operations in Q2 2013. Twelve per cent ofbusinesses cited fluctuating demand for products or services, while around 10 percent of businesses expressed concerns about the lack of skilled labour. Around 7 percent of the survey respondents indicated that competition is a key challenge, while a similar proportion highlighted constrained availability of finance as a major concern. Five percent of non-hydrocarbon businesses envisage being affectedby a delay in payments or receivables, whereas around 4 percent have indicated that inflation couldreduce their business margins in Q2 2013. 

Of the non-hydrocarbon sector respondents, 44 percent expressed intent to invest in business expansion in Q2 2013. Around 31 percent have not drawn up any plans for expansion, while 25 percent remain undecided. The trade and hospitality sector is the most optimistic among the sub-sectors in terms of business expansion plans in the current quarter.

Forty-eight per cent of respondents in the hydrocarbon sector have indicated that there are no negative factors that will hamper business operations in Q2 2013. Of these firms, 20 percent have identified fluctuating demand for products and services as a challenge, while another 13 percent of business respondents cite a lack ofavailability of skilled labour as a concern. Business regulations (issues in obtaining labour visas) were highlighted by 8 percent of hydrocarbon businesses as the main hindrance to their operations. Delays in receiving payments or ageing of receivables were cited as a major concern by around 5 percent of survey respondents. The availability of cheap finance, the impact of inflation and competitive pressures each concerned about 2 percent of the business respondents. 

Dun and Bradstreet South Asia Middle East Ltd in association with Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority released this latest survey during a press conference hosted in partnership with the Qatari Businessmen Association.

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