Prospects for 2010 indicate a real GDP growth of 15%, up from 9% to 11% in 2009, on the back of LNG production and government spending on infrastructure projects, according to information from the privately owned International Bank of Qatar.

Qatar’s government has ambitious plans to double its oil production from 2.5 million barrels a day to 5 million by 2014, according to the deputy premier and minister of energy and industry, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah. He stated that the aim is for Qatar to supply 30% of the world’s energy by 2030.

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Investors are now recognising the wealth of possibilities presented by Qatar. Not only are Qatari companies open to working with foreign businesses on a flexible partnership basis, but the projects in which they can invest are on the rise. This year, $33bn worth of deals are forecast to be awarded, with $26bn in 2011 and $26.7bn the following year.

Moreover, the projects are more diverse than in other parts of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). Of the outstanding $248bn in ongoing and planned proposals in Qatar, 42% are in non-construction sectors, compared with 29% for other GCC countries, according to figures from MEED Projects.

They also cross all sectors: alternative energy, gas processing, LNG, oil and gas production, petrochemicals, power, refining, water and waste, as well as infrastructure and construction.

Overall, the expectation is that the Qatari economy will grow at a much higher rate than other GCC countries. So for businesses looking around for the next best investment opportunity, Qatar looks like the place to go.

 

Lucia Dore is the Gulf correspondent at mergermarket, part of The Financial Times Group.

E-mail: lucia.dore@mergermarket.com