Top Business Opportunities in Qatar
Top Business Opportunities in Qatar
Ranked the second most competitive economy in the Arab world, Qatar provides opportunity for investment across a wide range of industries. According to the 2018 Arab World Competitiveness Report by the World Bank and World Economic Forum, Qatar was rated 25th in the world in terms of economic competitiveness, thanks in part to its excellent infrastructure, its favourable macroeconomic environment, and great healthcare and education.
And it seems Qatar is determined to move ever forward, as demonstrated by its New Emerging Belt Initiative (NEBI). Within this initiative, Qatar is strengthening government-to-government relations with the five nearby markets of Turkey, Kuwait, Oman, India and Pakistan, which have a total population of 400 million and a combined economic output of about $2.1 trillion. In doing this, Qatar is setting itself up as a gateway, allowing foreign investors to gain access to these fast-growing economies.
Aside from the NEBI, the Qatar government has taken several initiatives to encourage more foreign companies to invest in Qatar in the past year or so, while also targeting certain sectors with increased spending. With total government spending budgeted at US$56.8 billion for expenditures in 2019, infrastructure was expected to receive US$9 billion (16% of total expenditures), healthcare US$6.2 billion (11%), education US$5.3 billion (9.3%), and transportation and communication US$4.5 billion (7.9%).
Moving on from this, government spending is expected to continue to support the long-term strategic goals set forth under the Qatar National Vision 2030. This will include the development of a knowledge-based economy, while increasing the share of GDP derived from non-extractive industries.
So, what kinds of business opportunities can foreign investors expect in Qatar?
- Infrastructure: Qatar continues to see investment in infrastructure, with opportunities in major infrastructure projects in the lead-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, mainly involving road, water, electricity and sewage networks, along with other public facilities. More than US$200 billion has been allocated by the government for construction, infrastructure development, public transportation, and logistics projects to meet the demands of the country’s growing population and the expected World Cup attendees.
- Facilities Management: With its huge infrastructure spending comes opportunity for investment in facilities management.
- Energy: While Qatar continues to diversify out of the energy sector, oil and gas production in Qatar still presents attractive opportunities for investment for foreign investors. One project worth noting is the expansion of Qatar’s North Field mega LNG expansion project, which is set to increase natural gas production by 43% by 2024, from 77.1 million tons per annum (mtpa) to 110 mtpa. Aside from that, Qatar Petroleum has also invited bids from multinationals to develop and operate a new petrochemical complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City, which will feature the region’s largest ethane cracker.
- Local Manufacturing and Logistics: Within Qatar, there has been increased development of manufacturing and logistics free zones, working to encourage investment in local manufacturing and assembly. Worth mentioning is the recently-announced Tawteen program, where Qatar Petroleum invited investors to participate in this localisation initiative that aims to create domestic manufacturing and service opportunities for the energy sector supply chain.
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT): Having been a key focus of the government since the 2017 announcement of the Smart Nation program, ICT in Qatar has seen continued growth, with more than $1.5 billion allocated for ICT solutions in the transport, logistics, health, sports, and environmental sectors. The goal is to transform Qatar into one of the most digitally-connected countries in the world.
Considering investment opportunities in Qatar? Call Fusion today. As experts in company formation, Fusion offers guidance and advice essential to business establishment in this fast growing economy.