March 11, 2013 / 7:31 AM / 5 years ago

Qatar finance minister sees strong non-hydrocarbon growth

DOHA, March 11 (Reuters) - Qatar expects rapid growth in non-hydrocarbon parts of its economy this year while its gas sector is unlikely to expand significantly, Finance Minister Youssef Kamal said on Monday.

“We expect in 2013 to see 9 percent growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector. In the hydrocarbon sector, we do not expect to see an increase before 2017,” he told a financial conference.

“We expect $140 billion on infrastructure spending through 2019. Construction sector growth will reach 10 percent this year and next year. Transport and communications growth will reach 10 to 15 percent.”

Asked about the parameters of state budget spending for next fiscal year, which will start on April 1, he replied: “It will be a little bit higher.” He also said next fiscal year’s budget would be based on an oil price of $65 per barrel.

Kamal added that Qatar hoped to raise its credit rating to AAA from AA. He did not elaborate on how this would be done.

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