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Qatar Economy

    Economy—overview: Oil is the backbone of the economy and accounts for more than 30% of GDP, roughly 70% of export earnings, and 66% of government revenues. Proved oil reserves of 3.7 billion barrels should ensure continued output at current levels for 23 years. Oil has given Qatar a per capita GDP comparable to the leading West European industrial countries. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas exceed 7 trillion cubic meters, more than 5% of the world total, third largest in the world. Production and export of natural gas are becoming increasingly important. Long-term goals feature the development of off-shore petroleum and the diversification of the economy. Lower world oil prices brought GDP down in 1998.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$12 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: -3% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$17,100 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 1%
    industry: 49%
    services: 50% (1996 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7.4% (1996)

    Labor force: 233,000 (1993 est.)

    Unemployment rate: NA%

    Budget:
    revenues: $3.4 billion
    expenditures: $4.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $700 million (FY98/99 budget est.)

    Industries: crude oil production and refining, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement

    Industrial production growth rate: -4% (1995)

    Electricity—production: 5.2 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 100%
    hydro: 0%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 5.2 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish

    Exports: $5.6 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)

    Exports—commodities: petroleum products 80%, fertilizers, steel

    Exports—partners: Japan 49%, Singapore 12%, South Korea 12%, Thailand 4%, US 3% (1997)

    Imports: $4.4 billion (f.o.b., 1997 est.)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and equipment, consumer goods, food, chemicals

    Imports—partners: UK 25%, France 13%, Japan 10%, US 9%, Italy 6% (1997)

    Debt—external: $11 billion (1997 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $NA

    Currency: 1 Qatari riyal (QR) = 100 dirhams

    Exchange rates: Qatari riyals (QR) per US$1—3.6400 riyals (fixed rate)

    Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)