Falling oil prices have spurred ongoing efficiency and diversification efforts in Qatar, with data from Qatar National Bank (QNB) showing that more than half of the state’s GDP is now accounted for by the non-hydrocarbons sector. Figures from the third quarter of 2014 showed industry contributed 6% of nominal GDP, with manufacturing accounting for $19.7bn of industry’s $30.7bn total contribution to GDP in 2013, or 64%. Qatar is now one of the world’s largest fertiliser exporters, with the GCC accounting for around one-quarter of global urea trade by volume in 2013 and 12% of global ammonia trade. While heavy and medium industry will remain major pillars moving forward, Qatar National Vision 2030 has emphasised the need for a shift towards knowledge-based industries, with lighter, high-tech manufacturing now receiving a boost and efforts now under way to encourage greater private sector involvement in the sector.
This chapter contains an interview with Khalid Al Subaey, Managing Director, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company.