The Doha Bank recently hosted a meeting with a Sri Lankan delegation, which was headed by Sri Lanka’s Money, Capital Market, and State Enterprise Reforms State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Central Bank of Sri Lanka the Deputy Governor N. W. G. R. D. Nanayakkara. During the meeting, Doha Bank CEO Dr. R Seetharaman highlighted the key developments in Qatar including the country’s recent LNG expansion plans.
“Qatar Petroleum’s (QP) North Field East Project (NFE) is expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2025. The NFE Project represents the first phase of LNG expansion in Qatar, while the second phase is referred to as the North Field South Project (NFS),” he said.
“With an expected production start date in 2027, the NFS project involves the construction of two additional mega LNG trains and associated offshore and onshore facilities. According to IMF April 2021, Qatar’s economy is expected to grow by 2.4 per cent in 2021”. He said.
Seetharaman also gave insights on Sri Lankan economy. Citing the IMF April 2021 report, he said that Sri Lankan economy is expected to grow by 4 per cent in 2021. Sri Lanka’s recent monetary policy has maintained low interest rates and policy rate at which money is injected overnight at 5.5 per cent and the rate at which excess money is deposited at 4.5 per cent. The country’s fiscal policy for 2021 has a deficit of 8.9 per cent of GDP.
He added that Sri Lanka’s Vision 2025 has given thrust on FDI and exports and to improve per-capita income. Seetharaman reiterated the growing bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Qatar.
“Sri Lanka has enjoyed close ties with Qatar, with over 120,000 Sri Lankans. There are more than 200 Srilankan companies established in partnership with the Qatari side. Doha Bank entered into agreements with the four biggest Sri Lankan banks to facilitate the remittances from Qatar to Sri Lanka,” he said.
The Doha Bank also plays an important role to facilitate trade finance opportunities between Qatar and Sri Lanka and has seen substantial growth in the past few months. Qatari businessmen should explore the huge investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and establish business partnerships and alliances with their Sri Lankan counterparts. Many Sri Lankan companies are looking to take part in Qatari projects and establish joint ventures in all sectors.
The Qatar Airways and the SriLankan Airlines had also previously announced a significant codeshare expansion in December 2019.” Also speaking during the event, State Minister Cabraal gave an insight on investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
“Construction of new terminals, Supporting logistic establishments, Ship building and Repairing industries, Developing minor ports and connectivity, Expanding related leisure activities and Marine support industries are some of the areas, which offer potential,” he said.
Central Bank Deputy Governor Nanayakkara added that the delegation had a fruitful tour in Qatar, which has opened several avenues for Sri Lanka.
Meeting with Seetharaman was also very useful, he added. – The Peninsula. (MFA)