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Qatar Business Forecast Report Q4 2014

  • September 2014
  • -
  • Business Monitor International
  • -
  • 46 pages

Core Views
Qatar’s short-term political risk profile remains among the most stable in the region. Despite enjoying little in the way of democratic freedom, Qataris benefit from massive hydrocarbon wealth which is spread generously across the country’s native population and enjoy the highest per capita GDP in the world. A small population - and one without much inclination to protest against the government - will keep the country insulated from large-scale public unrest in the immediate term.

The Qatari economy will continue to expand at a rapid pace over the next few years, supported by accommodative fiscal policy - notably infrastructure spending - and strong population increases. The nonhydrocarbons economy will propel growth, with construction activity and the services sector set to remain the dominant performers. We retain our forecast for annual real GDP growth of 5.7% for 2014, but have revised up our projection for 2015 to 6.6% (from 6.1% previously). The new Barzan gas development, which is planned to come on-stream in 2015, will drive a return to growth in the hydrocarbon sector throughout the coming quarters.

Table Of Contents

Qatar Business Forecast Report Q4 2014
Executive Summary. 5
Core Views..5
Key Risks To Outlook5
Chapter 1: Political Outlook. 7
SWOT Analysis.. 7
BMI Political Risk Ratings 7
Foreign Policy ... 8
Bahrain - Qatar Dispute Adds To GCC's Internal Troubles8
A diplomatic dispute between Bahrain and Qatar, revolving around Doha's alleged 'poaching' of Bahraini Sunni nationals, will add to the
Gulf Cooperation Council's internal divide. Cooler relations will affect the already-limited economic cooperation plans between the two
countries, including the long-delayed Qatar-Bahrain causeway project.
Foreign Policy II 9
Growing Risk Of GCC Sanctions..9
The persistence of the diplomatic rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain illustrates two of our core views: that a
drastic shift in the independent character of Qatari foreign policy is unlikely; and that the success prospects of GCC political integration
are extremely limited. Failure to bring an end to the dispute could ultimately lead to sanctions against Qatar.
Long-Term Political Outlook.. 10
Limited Challenges Ahead..10
We find it hard to argue that political instability could become a core scenario in Qatar. Nevertheless, with the government playing
the role of conflict mediator in one of the hottest international conflict flashpoints in the world, in addition to having a growing young
population and increasing number of expatriates, Qatar will not be immune to external and internal shocks in the long run.
Chapter 2: Economic Outlook 13
SWOT Analysis 13
BMI Economic Risk Ratings... 13
Economic Activity .. 14
Outlook Remains Highly Positive...14
Qatar's economic prospects remain the most positive in the region. We forecast real GDP growth of 5.7% for 2014, accelerating to 6.6
%in 2015 as the new Barzan gas development comes on-stream. The non-hydrocarbons economy will propel growth, with construction
activity and the services sector set to remain the dominant performers.
TABLE: Economic Activity..14
Key Sector Outlook 17
Set To Expand Presence In African Mining...17
While Qatar's presence in the African mining sector remains at a nascent stage, we expect investments to pick up in the coming years
as the government looks for ways to bolster non-hydrocarbons income. Weak global commodity prices and low valuations provide Qatar
with a period of opportunity to snap up inexpensive mining assets across Africa.
Banking Sector ... 19
Strong Performance Despite World Cup Uncertainty19
We have slightly downgraded our 2014 growth forecasts for the Qatari commercial banking sector, due to weak data for the start of the
year and rising uncertainty over the country's hosting of the FIFA 2022 World Cup. That said, the outlook for the coming years remains
Regional Investment Climate 20
MENA FDI: Outperformers And Laggards..20
Political instability in large parts of the Middle East and North Africa will continue to weigh heavily on foreign direct investment inflows
to the region as a whole over the coming years. That said, we see several bright spots for foreign investment and highlight particularly
strong prospects for Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. By contrast, Iraq and Algeria are set to fall behind.
Chapter 3: 10-Year Forecast... 25
The Qatari Economy To 2023. 25
Solid Long-Term Growth Prospects...25
The outlook for the Qatari economy over the next 10 years is positive, particularly given the positive outlook on the hydrocarbon sector
and our view that the country will continue recording substantial current account surpluses. Political risk is likely to remain low, as we do
not see the al-Thani family losing its grip on power.
tABLE: Long-Term Macroeconomic Forecasts25
Chapter 4: Business Environment. 27
SWOT Analysis 27
BMI Business Environment Risk Ratings.. 27
Business Environment Outlook. 28
Institutions... 28
Infrastructure... 30
Market Orientation .. 31
Operational Risk.. 33
TABLE: Top Export Destinations ...33
Chapter 5: Key Sectors.. 35
Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare... 35
TABLE: Pharmaceutical Sales, Historical Data And Forecasts38
TABLE: Healthcare Expenditure Trends, Historical Data And Forecasts 39
TABLE: Government Healthcare Expenditure Trends, Historical Data And Forecasts. 39
TABLE: Private Healthcare Expenditure Trends, Historical Data And Forecasts... 39
TABLE: Telecoms Sector - Wireline - Historical Data and Forecasts 42
TABLE: Telecoms Sector - Mobile - Historical Data and Forecasts 42
Other Key Sectors... 43
table: Oil and Gas Sector Key Indicators.43
table: Autos Sector Key Indicators...43
table: Food and Drink Sector Key Indicators.44
table: Infrastructure Sector Key Indicators...44
table: Freight Key Indicators44
Chapter 6: BMI Global Assumptions. 45
Global Outlook. 45
Eurozone Downgrade On Poor Q214..45
Table: Global Assumptions.45
Table: Developed States, Real GDP GrowtH, %...46
Table: Emerging Markets, Real GDP Growth, %..47

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