Trade & Investment

Qatar Trade & Investment

Although Qatar continues to enjoy a healthy trade surplus, benefitting from its position as a critical energy supplier to a number of countries worldwide, export revenues in 2015 were dramatically affected by falling oil and gas prices, while the state’s import bill continues to rise as a result of major infrastructure construction and rapid population growth. Declining export revenues have also seen foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows drop as two major state-owned corporations underwent significant restructuring in 2015. These challenges have been a boon to non-oil growth and economic diversification. Domestically, FDI showed a sharp turnaround in 2014 as ongoing liberalization, including the establishment of new special economic zones and improved access to financing, further bolstered non-oil growth, particularly within the small and medium-sized enterprise segment. The Qatar Stock Exchange has also benefitted from several emerging market upgrades on major global indices, which should help offset losses recorded in 2015 and keep domestic markets on a growth path in 2016.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from David Cameron, Former UK Prime Minister; and interviews with Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of International Trade; and Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijani Minister of Economy and Industry.