His Excellency Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Thani, the Minister of Culture, attended yesterday evening a new session of Ramadan Council (Majlis), which is being held by the Ministry of Culture as part of the events accompanying Ramadan Book Fair.
His Excellency Mr. Youssef Hussain Kamal Al-Emadi, the Minister of Finance and former Acting Minister of Economy and Trade, participated in the session. It was moderated by Hassan Al-Saei, and was attended by a group of creative and interested people.
His Excellency Mr. Yousef Hussain Kamal Al-Emadi affirmed that the circumstances helped him a lot in serving the country and that he did everything in his power to be in the right place and perform his duty to serve the country. Pointing out that he worked for about 41 years, when he joined the work in 1973, until 2013.
He said that: Since 1983, the state has gone through very difficult and successive circumstances, and the debts and the high interest rate were at the forefront, and at that time Qatar had begun to establish factories in Mesaieed, but they were loaded with interest as a result of the loans these factories have obtained.
He added that Qatar, with God’s help, whenever it entered a crisis, it successfully overcame it, describing the 2008 crisis as very difficult, and that it occurred when an American bank collapsed, which was reflected in all countries. He likened this crisis to the one that occurred in 1929 when global markets lost 70% of their value.
He said that: The smaller the size of a country’s economy, the easier it is to deal with it, pointing out that in 2008 the size of the country’s economy reached $170 billion and we had supply projects in the same year, and with this budding arising this year, we had a necessity to thinking outside the box away from the traditional means, and therefore there were instructions not to prejudice the reserves of the state, to act outside this framework.
He added that: We were thinking about many means until we came up with unconventional means to deal with this crisis, and the focus was on not affecting the future of the Qatari economy as a result of this crisis, and that it is a transient crisis, which reassured everyone in the confidence of the national economy and its future.
His Excellency also touched on some of the solutions he took to overcome financial problems and crises, including what he called the probability theory. He said that: Even if conditions are bad for a year or more, there are inevitably possibilities for improvement. There are means that can be used, including bonds, and I have used them to overcome some crises, in addition to the process of buying 20 percent of the banks in order to fix the conditions that were bad during the financial crisis, and the purchase was through bonds that could be repaid after five years, and thus we were able to get out of the distress.
His Excellency gave examples of ways to deal with financial crises, and mentioned 4 points that he said are very important in the economy, the first of which is the national product in relation to debt and the state budget surplus, and the last thing is the trade balance and the balance of payments, and he explained how each point affects the local economy.
Al-Emadi also touched on the currency’s loss of value against the hard currency and explained how that process occurs, and the specialization of each department of the Ministry of Finance, the central center, and other institutions. He described the surplus in the trade balance as a healthy phenomenon, and said that this is what the State of Qatar is experiencing.
About giving advice to young people entering the business market, his excellency said that the most important advice is that a person should not enter any field that he does not understand well and does not have complete knowledge of, and then stay away from transmission and imitation, and if necessary, it can be imitated, but with intonation, and the last advice was to stay away from haste