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Economy of Qatar

Petroleum and liquefied natural gas are the cornerstones of Qatar's economy and account for more than 70% of total government revenue, more than 60% of gross domestic product, and roughly 85% of export earnings. Proved oil reserves of 15 billion barrels (588,000,000 m3) should ensure continued output at current levels for 23 years. Oil has given Qatar a per capita GDP that ranks among the highest in the world. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas exceed 7000 km3, more than 5% of the world total and the third-largest reserves of any country in the world. Production and export of natural gas are becoming increasingly important. Long-term goals include the development of off-shore petroleum and the diversification of the economy.

Qatar is now the richest country in the world. Current GDP per capita registered a world record-breaking peak growth of 1,156% in the 70s. This became quickly unsustainable and Qatar's current GDP per capita contracted 53% in the 80s. But rising global oil demand helped current GDP per capita to expand 94% in the 90s. Diversification is still a long-term issue for this over-exposed economy.

Sectors

Energy

Oil production will not long remain at peak levels of 500,000 barrels (80,000 m) per day, as oil fields are projected to be mostly depleted by 2023. However, large natural gas reserves have been located off Qatar's northeast coast.

Qatar's heavy industrial projects, all based in Umm Said, include a refinery with a 50,000 barrels (8,000 m) per day capacity, a fertilizer plant for urea and ammonia, a steel plant, and a petrochemical plant. All these industries use gas for fuel.

Industry

The government considers industry to be an integral part of its plan to diversify the economy and maximize its huge natural gas reserves, which serve as the primary feedstock for the sector. Accordingly, careful planning has gone into industrial development. Industries Qatar (IQ), a producer of petrochemicals, fertilizers and steel, is a regional powerhouse, surpassed only in size by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), the Middle East's largest chemical producer.

Tourism

Under the ambitious five-year development plan of the Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (QTEA), the government aimed to boost the number of visitors from 964,000 as of 2007 to 1.5m by 2010. In addition to financial support, the government has also worked to ease business regulations in a bid to increase private sector activity. A major aspect of expansion plans is the Hamad International Airport, which will have the capacity to handle up to 24m passengers upon the completion of the first phase in 2012.

Transport

With a fast-expanding population and substantial economic growth over the past decade, a reliable and extensive transportation network is becoming increasingly necessary within Qatar. Ashghal works in tandem with the Urban Planning and Development Authority (UPDA), the body that designed the transportation master plan, instituted in March 2006 and running to 2025.

The New Doha International Airport is one of the largest projects in Qatar today and will boast a capacity of 50m passengers upon completion in 2015. Finally, port infrastructure is seen as an integral part of Qatar's economic development as it focuses on LNG and industrial exports. The port at Mesaieed is undergoing expansion and will be able to handle around 1m twenty-foot-equivalent units by 2020. While the financial crisis may present challenges to infrastructure development, once all projects are up and running Qatar will have one of the most advanced and modern transport infrastructures in the region.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Qatar"

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