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Time & Temperature in Doha

Ex-Peru president hails Qatar
DOHA: Qatar is a good example of how countries with income from finite resources should make prudent investments in human capital over the long term.

A former president of Peru who is on a visit here said yesterday he was highly impressed with the Education City and Qatar╝s vast and expanding healthcare infrastructure.

ŰOil and gas (reserves) are going to finish (one day), so it is wise to invest in education and human resource,╜ said Alejandro Tolido (pictured), ex-president of Peru.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Doha Forum, he told this newspaper yesterday; ŰI am impressed by what Qatar is doing by investing its income from oil and gas on human capital.

Talking of the global economic turmoil, he said governments should react and help mitigate the impact of the crisis by investing in social programs.

His country, said the former president, was not left unscathed by the crisis since its fiscal income from exports suffers due to lower demand. Peru╝s main items of export include gold, silver, copper and fish meal, among other things. China is one of the major importers, Tolido said.

With a population of 30 million, Peru boasts a sizeable economy (gross domestic product being $150bn) and growth recently was an incredible 9.8 percent, the ex-Peruvian president said. Peruvian and Latin American economies are in a better position today as compared to 20 years ago, Tolido said in the context of their ability to withhold economic adversities.

He earlier spoke at the Forum on world economic turbulence at the post-lunch session.

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