Expectations From Qatar Economic Forum: A Bangladesh Perspective

The 3rd Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) is taking place in Doha from 23rd to 25th May. This year, more than one thousand global leaders including heads of government, business, media, and civil society are participating in this flagship forum.

Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also visiting Qatar to attend the forum. For the last two years, QEF has become a flagship forum for global leaders of a wide range to attend and discuss global economic trends. It brings everyone together. Take, for instance, Tesla CEO Elon Musk joined virtually last year and talked a lot about a US recession likely to place. As the forum brings the leaders together, expectations are high regarding it, especially in the context of ongoing economic and energy crises worldwide.

Qatar Economic Forum

Since 2021, Qatar has been organizing the QEF every year with direct patronization from His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar. US media company Bloomberg also helps to organize it. This is the third year of the platform. The platform is basically Qatar’s effort to draw on Qatar’s ability to link Asia with Africa and beyond, as well as its position as a key global diplomatic hub and a leader in LNG energy technologies.

This year’s theme for the platform is ‘A New Global Growth Story’. Through a series of keynote interviews, panel discussions, and interactive workshops, the 2023 Forum will explore the latest trends in finance, energy, healthcare, and technology, and examine their potential to drive future growth. The platform is likely to shine a light on the rising South-to-South economy. The Forum will highlight established viewpoints and emerging voices from around the world.

More than one thousand global leaders will participate in this year’s conference. The participants include more than 50 regional and international speakers made up of government leaders, CEOs, global investors, and influential voices from the worlds of culture, sport, and entertainment. Prominent participants include CEO of Boeing Dave Calhoun, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva, Former United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and CEO of TikTok Shou Zi Chew.

Bangladesh’s Expectation

As the forum is about Qatar going global, especially lifting Qatar’s relations with Asia and Africa, Bangladesh automatically expects that the forum will focus on the existing energy crisis. The recession and energy crisis are hurting the global South for a while now. As Qatar is an energy giant, it has the potential to play a significant role in solving the energy problem. Besides, the forum aims to understand the latest trend in trade and finance. So, it is expected that leaders of all communities will focus on taming the global recession.

Again, as Qatar Sovereign Fund is one of the world’s largest investment funds, it is hoped that Qatar will focus on increasing its investment in the global south through this forum. It’s been a while, since Bangladesh has been pursuing Qatar to invest in Bangladesh. During her visit, PM Hasina is likely to meet several Qatar government officials apart from the forum. During her meeting, she is likely to ask for increasing LNG supply to Bangladesh under the Quota system. Recently, the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh confirmed that the PM will seek an additional supply of LNG under Quota-basis.

Bangladesh also expects that there will be an opportunity for sideline diplomacy during the forum. As several CEOs of large corporates, Investment funds, and government officials will participate, Bangladesh expects to diplomatically engage with them to explore opportunities of further trade and investment.

The QEF is a flagship forum of Qatar that aims to increase Qatar’s participation in global economic discourse. It is also aimed to increase Qatar’s soft power over Global South’s economic domain. It is expected that the forum will be crucial in upholding south-south cooperation in the global economy. And, this year’s forum will focus on mitigating global energy crisis as Qatar itself is an energy giant.

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