Weak growth outlook amid ongoing regional tensions

B2

MEDIUM RISK for enterprise

  • Economic risk

  • Business environment risk

  • Political risk

  • Commercial risk

  • Financing risk

  • Economic risk

  • Business environment risk

  • Political risk

  • Commercial risk

  • Financing risk

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GDP
USD146.4bn (World ranking 54, World Bank 2020)
Population
2.9mn (World ranking 137, World Bank 2020)
Form of state Emirate
Head of government Emir Sheikh TAMIM bin Hamad Al Thani
Next elections 2021, legislative
  • Unlike elsewhere in the region, leadership has been passed to a younger generation, providing a degree of popular support in the short term
  • U.S. military support affords some regional protection
  • Long-term development strategy that has accelerated diversification away from upstream oil and gas
  • Large foreign asset base, including a Sovereign Wealth Fund estimated at USD320bn
  • Regional instability (including Iraq and Syria) and uncertainties (including Iran) impact on risk perceptions
  • Conflict with some other Arab states in the region (notably Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt) that escalated in June 2017, resulting in significant economic measures against Qatar
  • U.S. military bases and the country’s oil and gas facilities are potential targets for terrorist or extremist groups
  • Despite the active policy of economic diversification, the economy relies heavily on hydrocarbons and this leaves it vulnerable to changes in levels of global activity and in international commodity prices
  • Data transparency remains weak for an economy of its size and strategic importance

Trade structure by destination/origin

(% of total, annual 2020)

Exports Rank Imports
Japan 15.7%
1
15.7% United States
China 14.5%
2
14.9% China
India 13.9%
3
7.0% United Kingdom
Korea, Republic of 12.9%
4
6.1% Germany
Singapore 8.0%
5
5.2% India

Trade structure by product

(% of total, annual 2020)

Exports Rank Imports
Gas, natural and manufactured 49.8%
1
8.9% Power generating machinery and equipment
Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials 30.5%
2
7.7% Other transport equipment
Plastics in primary forms 3.6%
3
6.3% Miscellaneous manufactured articles, n.e.s.
Fertilizers other than group 272 2.3%
4
6.3% Other industrial machinery and parts
Non-ferrous metals 2.2%
5
4.6% Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, n.e.s.
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