Qatar Economy Articles & Analysis

Chapter | Trade & Investment from The Report: Qatar 2019

Rising oil prices and effective policy-making have played a significant role in returning Qatar to a healthy trade surplus. A swift response by a range of government ministries has secured new routes to global markets. In March 2018 Hamad Port, which officially opened in 2017, celebrated the handling of 1m twenty-foot equivalent units ahead of schedule. Foreign investment also continues to...

Its relatively small population and status as the world’s biggest gas exporter have helped Qatar become the richest country globally in terms of GDP per capita, which stood at $72,700 at current prices in 2019, according to IMF estimates. In recent years, however, the nation has faced strong economic headwinds from a drop in global energy prices to a diplomatic blockade.

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It has been two years since three Gulf countries and Egypt placed an economic blockade on Qatar, to which Qatar responded by implementing a series of reforms, seeking out new trade partners and amplifying economic diversification efforts. How effective have these measures proved?

Mirroring a trend seen across the Gulf, two lenders in Qatar announced the country’s first bank merger in a move officials say will support economic growth and the development of the financial and private sectors. 

A series of initiatives designed to promote entrepreneurship and incubate start-ups in Qatar are strengthening the country’s research, development and innovation (RDI) ecosystem.

 

How do you view the role of the government versus that of the private sector in driving growth?

 

Offsetting fluctuations in hydrocarbons output and prices, the non-energy sector accelerated in 2018, growing by 6% in the first half of the year, according to an IMF report released in November 2018. Real GDP growth of 2.4% was projected for 2018, up from the 1.6% growth of 2017. This expansion is set to gather momentum again in 2019, with...

 

Rising oil prices and effective policy-making have played a significant role in returning Qatar to the healthy trade surplus it enjoyed prior to 2017, when political events caused substantial disruption to import and export activity. A swift response by a range of government ministries has secured new routes to global markets. In March 2018...