Qatar to spend S$18.45b on 'mega projects' in 2017

Qatar's finance minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi speaks during the Euromoney Qatar Conference in Doha, Qatar. (AFP)

Qatar will invest up to US$13 billion (S$18.45 billion) in major infrastructure projects next year despite a slump in revenues resulting from low energy prices, the Gulf state's finance minister said on Tuesday.

Ali Shareef al-Emadi predicted growth of 3. 4 per cent in 2017, in line with an International Monetary Fund estimate and up from a projected 3. 2 per cent this year.

"Increasing the investment in mega projects reiterates the country's commitment to achieving its goals," Emadi told delegates at a Euromoney conference in Doha.

"It is expected that on new projects in 2017, spending will be up to 46 billion Qatari riyals (S$18.45 billion).

"The minister added that the 2022 World Cup host had already spent almost 375 billion riyals on large-scale projects.

Most of the investment in the next few years will be in construction and transport as the country gears up to host football's showpiece tournament.

Speaking at the same conference, Qatar National Bank's chief executive officer, Ali Ahmed al-Kuwari, said construction would account for 45 per cent of investment between 2015 and 2018, and transport almost 30 per cent.