Qatar's Main Business Sectors
The State of Qatar has enjoyed immense economic growth over the last few years because of higher oil prices, and in 2008, it had its 8th consecutive year with a budget surplus. The state's economic policy is focused on the development of the non-energy sectors of business, but still, gas and oil make up over half of the GDP, 85% of export revenue, and 70% of the government's revenue. Qatar's oil and gas reserves have made it the second-highest per capita income in the world (next to Liechtenstein). It has proven oil reserves of over fifteen billion barrels, promising at least the current level of output for the next 37 years. Qatar also has almost 15% of the world's natural gas reserves.
Before oil was discovered in Qatar, the economy was primarily focused on pearl diving and fishing. After cultured pearls from Japan were introduced in the 1920s, the pearl industry in Qatar slipped. Now that oil is the main source of revenue, the country has a very high living standard, with many social services offered to its people.
While gas and oil will probably comprise the majority of the Qatari economy for the foreseeable future, the state wants to expand its private sector. In 2004, the Qatar Science & Technology Park was built to serve and attract tech companies from Qatar and beyond. The state also established Education City, which is made up of international schools. Doha Sports City, the Aspire Sports Academy, as well as exhibition halls and aquatic centers have been established. Qatar's sports and entertainment sector have established the state as a role model for both social and economic development in the Middle East; the market can only strengthen through further investment.
Qatar's Financial Center provides world-class service in no-interest loans, capital support, and investment. The investment platforms are within an economy focused on the further development of hydrocarbon resources, and they've been created with the long-term in mind. The country needs to raise capital in order to pay for more than $130 billion in various infrastructure projects. The QFC provides a way for financiers to gain access to nearly a trillion dollars in investments that span the Gulf states.
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