Strengths The government's popularity is shored up by high per capita GAP, combined with universal state benefits without any taxation. Since Emir Ham came to power, improvements in civil rights and a clampdown on corruption have boosted his support. Weaknesses Close ties with the US and, to a lesser extent, Israel, are unpopular domestically and could cause tension with other Arab leaders. Occasional friction with Saudi Arabia.
Opportunities The country's first constitution paves the way for parliamentary elections, which are et to take place at some stage in 2010, and enshrines basic civil rights. Major investments in education should reduce unemployment over the long term. Threats Playing host to the US Central Command during the Iraq war has angered some Psalmists in the region. In the unlikely event of a US-Iran war, the base could be a target for Iranian forces or militants. The first recorded militant attack on civilians occurred in March 2005. Security has been increased, although the likelihood of further attacks remains minimal.
Qatar Economic SOOT A massive endowment of natural gas as well as sizeable oil reserves. A small population means per capita GAP is very high. Good credit ratings have allowed the country to borrow internationally at low rates. Qatar: SOOT Analysis By Normalizing vulnerable to shifts in world prices. Dependence on immigrant labor means outflows of remittances are high, though the current account remains firmly in surplus. Development of natural gas reserves and distribution deals, especially in the liquefied natural gas (LONG) industry. Development of the non-hydrocarbons sector, principally financial institutions.
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Investments in education are improving the skills base. Qatar is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (ICC) regional trading bloc and is negotiating a free trade agreement (FAT) with the US. Oil-fuelled asset price booms pose an upside risk to inflation. Tight credit markets could make financing for large-scale projects hard to come by, or prohibitively expensive. Qatar Business Environment SOOT Stable government fiscal policy and market-based monetary policy. The Qatar is ranked 28 in Transparency Internationally 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index, comparing favorably with regional peers.
O Business Monitor International Ltd Page 9 Qatar contains the world's third largest natural gas reserves base, behind Russia and Iran, and the largest non-associated gas field in the world. It is a major exporter of LONG, thanks to its substantial resource base. The domestic economy's continued reliance on a buoyant oil market to maintain growth. In most sectors, foreign ownership is capped at 49%. Investment in education and the expansion of Education City complex of international campuses will improve the skills base. Membership of the ICC customs union facilitates trade with Gulf peers. 00% foreign wineries is permitted (subject to government approval) in agriculture, industry, tourism, health and education, and natural resources. The country's policy of economic diversification has led to a surge in investment in projects for the export of LONG and petrochemicals. An estimated total of SIS$ban has been invested in the Qatar oil industry in the past decade. Only Sitars are able to obtain import licenses. US observers say Star's copyright protection is inadequate. Qatar took a decision in 2005 to stall new projects because of concern that too rapid development of LONG exports might damage the North Field's reservoir.
The outcome of a field assessment study will either allow the export moratorium to be lifted, or cap the production from the field. The 2005 moratorium on further development of the North Field is unlikely to be lifted before 2013, a Qatar Petroleum executive said in March 2009. Page 10 Copyright of Qatar Oil & Gas Report is the property of Business Monitor International and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.
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