Middle East Money

Qatar 'stronger than ever' one year after blockade: Deputy PM

Key Points
  • The Gulf nation is becoming more self-reliant following a land, sea and air blockade led by its Arab neighbors, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah.
  • The production of medicine and foodstuffs has grown exponentially, he said at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Sunday.
The Doha Skyline at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on November 17, 2016 in Doha, Qatar.
Photo by Mark Runnacles | Getty Images

A year into an economic and transport blockade led by its neighbors, Qatar has emerged "stronger than ever," Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah said on Sunday.

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates implemented a land, sea and air blockade on the gas exporting nation that restricted travel and imported goods. The move threatened food security in the Gulf nation and prompted a regional diplomatic crisis.

But one year later, the economy is thriving, according to Al Attiyah, with the manufacturing of national products, including medicine and foods, having grown - although the minister did not elaborate further on how much production has increased.

"We were able to weather the storm and emerge from it stronger than ever," the politician said at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual security summit in Singapore:

Riyadh, Manama, Cairo and Abu Dhabi accuse Doha of supporting terrorism and have said they will continue the siege until Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani's government complies with a list of demands that includes shutting down the Al Jazeera news network and reducing ties with Iran.

Doha, however, has rejected those conditions, calling them insults to its sovereignty.

The blockade is "unjust and unlawful," Al Attiyah stated, describing it as a "blatant violation of international rules." But the country has managed to survive thanks to new alliances, he continued.

Many of those new friendships are in Asia, where Doha is actively seeking foreign invest told CNBC in March. ment, Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, the CEO of the Qatar Financial Center, told CNBC in March.