Bucking global trend Qatar’s economy will expand this year with a real GDP growth of 9.6%, QNB Capital forecasts.
A key driver of Qatar’s growth will be its formidable position in liquefied natural gas exports, which are set to reach 44mn tonnes in 2009, QNB Capital said in its soon-to-be-published first Qatar Economic Review.
Qatar is now the world’s largest exporter and trans-shipper of LNG. Currently, nine LNG trains are in operation – five at RasGas and four at Qatargas. They account for about 39mn tonnes per year.
With the planned 14 trains, LNG production will top 77mn tonnes a year.
QNB Capital said Qatar’s economy reached a significant milestone last year with the gas sector overtaking oil as the largest contributor to the economy, accounting for 32.3% of the overall gross domestic product. The gas sector contributed QR120.2bn to the overall GDP, surpassing oil sector’s QR100.2bn, QNB Capital said quoting Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA).
Highlighting the increasing contribution of the non-energy sector to Qatar’s overall GDP, QNB Capital said the country’s economic diversification and ongoing expansion in the oil and gas sector has laid a “strong foundation” for its continuous growth.
The share of the non-oil and gas sector in Qatar’s overall GDP was 38.3% last year, up 27.2% on 2007.
In the coming years the non-oil and gas sector will play an even greater role and contribute significantly to the GDP as some major initiatives to diversify Qatar’s economy come to fruition, QNB Capital’s researchers said.
They include Qatar Financial Centre, Education City, Qatar Science & Technology Park and Energy City Qatar among others.
The non-oil and gas GDP is expected to reach QR145bn in 2009, Qatar Economic Review said.
Between 2004 and 2008 the non-oil and gas sector posted an average growth of 32.8%, QNB Capital said.
Qatar’s rapid economic growth has seen it reach the top ranks of wealthiest countries in the world as measured by GDP per capita. In 2008, Qatar’s GDP per capita reached a record $65,844.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in a recent forecast said Qatar’s real GDP would total QR148.5bn in 2009 and QR183.4bn in 2010.
QNB Capital also said that Qatar’s inflation would ease considerably this year to between 3% and 5% as the housing markets cooled down.
QNB Capital has a great team from around the world. From them include Khalifa Saleh Haroon, QNB Capital's first Qatari to join the team who has achieved some great feats; Aasim Qureshi, QNB Capital's Associate Director who's been in the finance sector for 5 years and holds a medical and law degree; and Nicholas Johnson, an expert in his field from Australia.
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