Qatar

QAT orthographic

Qatar was the 52nd largest economy in the world by nominal GDP in 2018. Its GDP per capita was $69,026 USD, which is above the OECD and High Income Country average. It is a small peninsula in the Persian Gulf bordering Saudi Arabia and just south of Bahrain. It had the third largest proven gas reserves in the world in 2018. It was ranked 60th in the World Bank's Human Capital Index and 42nd in the Economic Complexity Index in 2017. It is a member of the GCC and OPEC. Services was the largest economic sector in 2017 (42.6 percent of GDP), followed by manufacturing (9.2 percent), and agriculture (0.17 percent). In 2017, the largest export sectors were minerals (65.82 percent), services (23.2 percent), and chemicals (7 percent). The largest individual exports were LNG (31.4 percent), crude oil (18.6 percent), transport services (13.4 percent), refined petroleum (9.6 percent), and travel and tourism (7.8 percent). Its largest export partners were South Korea (18.3 percent), Japan (17.86 percent), India (13.49 percent), and China (10.39 percent). The largest goods imports were fixed wing aircraft greater than 15,000kgs (6.74 percent), jewellery of precious metals (5.77 percent), cars (4.99 percent), and gas turbines (4.94 percent). In 1868, Britain recognised the sovereignty of Qatar, which had previously been under the suzerainty of Bahrain. Qatar became a British protectorate in 1916 and became independent in 1971. At the beginning of the 20th century pearling was the main industry. It went into decline following the introduction of Japanese cultured pearls in the 1930s and the Depression. In 1939, oil was discovered transforming the economy. From the 1950s, infrastructure was developed, and Doha became an urban centre. Natural gas was discovered in 1971 in the offshore North Field. The oil and gas industries were nationalised in 1977. Gas production began in 1991 for the domestic market. But as the export potential was realised, Qatar began to develop the infrastructure to export both LNG and GTL. The first exports were to Japan in 1996. The export of gas was a boon to the economy overtaking the importance of oil and insulating it from external shocks. It also marked new efforts to diversify the economy. In 1994 the Qatar foundation was established with the aim of promoting innovation and education. Al Jazeera was launched in 1996 and Qatar airways in 1997. In 2005, a sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, was established. In 2008, the government launched "2030 Vision", which sets future economic and social goals. Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. In 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt imposed a diplomatic and travel embargo on Qatar over allegations of supporting terrorists and because of its relations with Iran. Qatar disputed the claims and argues that it is an attack on its sovereignty. The economy initially suffered but by 2019 was benefitting from increased diversification in export destinations.

Its population in 2018 was 2,694,849 [1]

In 2015, 0.00% of its total energy
consumption was renewable [2]

In 2021, its GDP grew by 1.52% [2]

In 2021 it had a positive Current
Account Balance of US$bn 26.43 [3]

Its Expenditure on R&D (as a percentage of
GDP) in 2018 was 0.53% [2]

A Big Mac will set you back the
local equivalent of US$3.30 [4]



What free trade areas or economic unions is it a member of?

Member of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) since 25/05/1981

Other members:

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates


What trade deals are there between Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and other countries and economic unions?

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - Singapore free trade agreement (from 01/11/2013)

EFTA - Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Free Trade Agreement (from 01/07/2014)


What trade deals are there with other countries and economic unions?

Pan-Arab Free Trade Area (from 01/01/1998)


Trade with the United Kingdom

Source: UK Office for National Statistics, October 2019.

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