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SPIEGEL Interview with the Emir of Qatar: 'We Are Coming to Invest' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

In a SPIEGEL interview, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, discusses the global financial crisis as an opportunity for strategic investments, how it is changing the balance of economic powers and his country's role in fostering peace in the tinderbox Middle East and Gulf region.

New construction in Doha: After years of spending domestically, Qatar is now considering foreign investments as the crisis drives down the value of blue-chip firms in Europe.

SPIEGEL: Your Highness, Qatar's economy may grow another 13 percent in 2009, and your people, with a per capita income of €72,000 Euros, are one of the richest in the world. Are people in Qatar even noticing the fact we are currently experiencing a worldwide economic crisis?

FROM THE MAGAZINE Find out how you can reprint this DER SPIEGEL article in your publication. Hamad: Of course we feel this. Within one year the price of oil fell from almost $150 per barrel to less than $50. This limits our ambitions. But I expected the price of oil to go down one day because we already suffered from this after 1973. When the oil price went up we became so rich. People bought a lot of things and they travelled every summer. Then the oil price went down and everything shrank. Since then, I have sought to avoid letting this happen again.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:06:13 PM EST
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