Economy of Qatar
Due to its oil and gas reserves, Qatar is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The government targets a controlled economic growth which suits the size of the country and is environmentally sustainable. In addition to fossil fuels, education and environmental friendliness is increasingly important in Qatar’s development according to the “Qatar National Vision 2030”.
Internationally, Qatar is a close and reliable partner to a number of European countries and engages in various international companies via the institution “Qatar Investment Authority”.
The main sources of income are oil, natural gas, fertilizers and petrochemical industry. In 2004, the gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 20%, 0.2% of which is generated in agriculture, 62.2% in industry and 37.6% in services. In 2001, 2% of the workforce was employed in agriculture, 38% in industry and 60% in the services sector. Inflation in 2005 was on average 4.5%.
Gross domestic product
34.4 billion dollars
Income per capita
Most important imported goods
Machinery and equipment, food, chemical products
Most important exported goods
Oil, gas, petrochemicals and fertilizers
The Qatari economy underwent many adjustments to set it in harmony with the changing world economy. These adjustments were also meant to consolidate and diversify the economic base in order to obviate the risk of depending on a single source of oil and gas. Thus the Qatari economy is now one of the strongest in the region and has recorded genuine growth over the last 5 years. This growth has also led to an improvement in keeping inflation under control and ensuring stability of the exchange rate.
Qatar friendly relations with other countries have helped to a great extent its foreign trade exchanges especially in the Asian markets.
Oil and fuel account for more than 93% of Qatar`s exports, followed by petrochemicals and manufactured goods. Japan is the biggest single importer of crude oil from Qatar while China and India are the biggest importers of fertilizers and petrochemicals.
Qatar enjoys a unique investment environment thanks to its attractive investment legislations and investment incentives, its social and political stability, strong and balanced ties with all states in the region and its strategic geographical location. In order to keep the momentum of economic development, Qatar adopts flexible economic policies designed to encourage local and foreign investment. This includes a well-developed infrastructure, nominal land–lease prices in the industrial areas and exemption from duties on imported machinery.
Qatari legislation relevant to business was designed to create an attractive environment to foreign capital, conducive to economic integration with neighboring countries and ultimately capable of safeguarding the national economy against any harmful impact.
The Qatar Central Bank was established in 1993 to replace the Qatari Monetary Authority, which was formed in 1973. Among the Bank`s main tasks is to organize, control and ensure stability of the financial market. Since 1995 QCB has liberalized interest rates, thus giving commercial banks the freedom to determine their interest rate ceilings. There are more than 37 Banks in Qatar, some owned by Qataris, others are commercial and many Arab and foreign banks.