Population (2017): 2.3 million
GDP (2017): US$166.3 billion (S$224.5 billion)
World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Rank (2018): 83
Bilateral Trade with Singapore (2017): S$7.7 billion
Qatar has been encouraging foreign investment with the aim of developing a strong private sector. As an active member of the World Trade Organisation, Qatar has opened various sectors of the economy to foreign participation, relaxed business regulations and offered a wide range of incentives to attract foreign investment. These incentives include a ten-year income tax exemption for foreign capital; not imposing taxes on the import of large machinery, spare parts and raw materials; and allowing the transfer of profits abroad and transfer of company ownership for free1.
1: Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is a catalyst for major development in Qatar. With the building of tournament venues and other projects, booming construction spending will continue to drive growth over the next few years. The World Cup will provide a boost to sectors such as tourism and hospitality, as well as general consumption.
Although oil and gas is the main driver of Qatar's economy, the government has made great strides in developing non-oil sectors such as manufacturing, construction and financial services. Non-oil sectors now contribute just over half of GDP2, buffering the economy from external oil price shocks.
2: CIA World Factbook, 2017
Qatar’s economic growth will increasingly be driven by its ambitious plans to spend up to US$150 billion on infrastructure projects ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, in line with the country’s 2030 Vision development plan.
While the oil and gas sector remains dominant, the country has begun diversification efforts to move towards a knowledge-based and services-driven economy. Currently, the growth of the non-oil sector is primarily spurred by domestic consumption, infrastructure, manufacturing, and tourism - a significant part of which is related to the upcoming 2022 World Cup.