From The Report: Qatar 2019
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Qatar’s relatively small population and status as the world’s biggest gas exporter have helped it to become the richest country globally in terms of GDP per capita. In recent years, however, it has faced strong economic headwinds. The oil price decline beginning in the second half of 2014 led to the country’s first budget deficit in 2016, prompting the government to cut costs and reinvigorate its long-standing policy of economic diversification. As oil prices stabilised and hydrocar¬bons revenues began to rise once again, the nation was faced with another challenge: the governments of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplo¬matic relations with Qatar in June 2017 and announced an economic blockade of the country. This chapter includes interviews with Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry; Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, Chairman, Qatar Chamber; Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO, Qatar Development Bank; and Omar Al Ansari, Secretary-General, Qatar Research, Development and Innovation Council.