Qatar’s industrial sector is estimated to contribute just under three-quarters of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employ just over half of the labor force. However, if the oil and gas sectors are excluded, it is still very small, below 10 percent in 2018.
For a long time, the Qatari industry was wholly state-owned, but now private initiatives are encouraged to reduce state costs.
As part of the efforts to reduce oil dependency, major investments are made in the manufacturing industry: today, among other things, manure is produced, petrochemicals, cement, aluminum, steel and textiles.
Large infrastructure projects, not least before the Soccer World Cup 2022, have increased demand for building materials and created an upturn in the construction industry.
Changes in Qatar have also been noted in the wake of the corona crisis, which has caused accustomed manufacturers to turn over the production of handcuffs, face masks and respirators around the world. State-owned Barzan complements its production of weapon parts and night visions with fans, in collaboration with American manufacturer Wilcox. Much of the production is earmarked for export to friendly states.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Qatar. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
Qatar leaves Opec
Qatar has decided to leave the oil-producing countries’ cooperation Opec in January 2019. The government declares its decision that natural gas is the mainstay of the country’s energy production. Qatar has been involved in price cooperation since 1961, but is one of Opec’s smallest oil producers. Market analysts expect that the exit decision will not have a major impact on oil prices.
IMF: Growth despite trade boycott
Qatar’s economy is growing despite the bitter diplomatic conflict with neighboring countries, which is manifesting itself as a boycott against trade with Qatar (see June 5, 2017 and May 26, 2018). The conclusion is drawn by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after a week-long study visit. Growth is expected to land at just over 3 percent in 2019 and then stabilize at around 2.7 percent between 2020 and 2023, the forecast says.
Neighboring cooperation will close gas deal for Qatar
The two largest energy companies in the Arab world, Saudi Aramco and Emirate Adnoc, conclude agreements on technology exchange and cooperation in the natural gas market. Both companies are state-owned. The United Arab Emirates has decided on a five-year investment plan, which will make the emirate self-sufficient on gas and, by extension, to the exporter. Currently, the emirate imports gas from Qatar via pipeline. Imports have continued despite Qatar being subject to boycotts and isolation policy from neighboring countries for over a year.
Money for wages in Gaza
Palestinian officials begin to pay outstanding salaries to Gaza public servants. The money for the Hamas-run administration comes from Qatar, which has promised a total of $ 90 million, with disbursements for six months. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah dislikes its rivals in Hamas being strengthened in this way, the circle around President Abbas believes it is undermining attempts at reconciliation talks between the Palestinian factions. Israel is said to have approved banknote transports in exchange for Hamas stepping down protests against Israel at the Gaza Strip border. Qatar has also paid for fuel for Gaza’s only power plant.
The government is being reformed
Saad al-Kaabi, head of state-owned oil and gas company Qatar Petroleum, will become energy minister. For 17 months, Qatar has been politically isolated as a result of dissatisfaction with neighboring countries, which accuses Qatar of conspiring with Iran. Five ministers and several top executives in important state corporations are replaced in the first major change at government level since the regional conflict began.
Better conditions for guest workers
A support fund has been set up for guest workers who experience difficulties. According to state media, the fund should, among other things, be able to assist employees who do not receive their salaries. A few days earlier, the government had announced that Qatar had abolished the requirement for an exit permit for those wishing to leave the country – employers had previously had the opportunity to prevent migrants who wanted to return home. Ahead of the Soccer World Cup 2022, to be held in Qatar, the country has been criticized for the difficult working conditions that apply to migrants. The measures now being implemented are part of a three-year program that Qatar and the UN organization signed in November 2017 (see October 25, 2017).
Qatar defies US sanctions on Iran
Qatar Airways will continue its flights to Iran despite US re-imposed sanctions, announces the airline’s chief. Many other large companies have been scared off the Iranian market by the threat of US penalties, including difficulties in using payment systems controlled by the United States. Qatar and Iran cooperate in several areas, including sharing what is described as the world’s largest natural gas field.
Gift from Qatar disputed in Turkey
The Turkish opposition party CHP has criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the purchase of a luxury equipped jumbo jet of model Boeing 747-8. The plane is a gift to Turkey from the emir of Qatar, is the president’s response. Turkey is one of the countries that has supported Qatar in a protracted and costly dispute with neighboring countries. The CHP notes that the plane was previously owned by a company in Switzerland.
Qatar promises to invest in Turkey
Qatar promises direct investment in Turkey for $ 15 billion. The message is left after a meeting between Qatar’s regent and the Turkish president in Ankara. This almost doubles the Qatari investment in Turkey and takes place even though the strain on the Turkish economy poses risks to investors. Turkey is one of Qatar’s main suppliers of goods and also has a small military base in the country.
Court orders protection for Qatari
The International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) demands in a ruling that the United Arab Emirates ensure that families with Qatari citizens who are divided as a result of the conflict with Qatar can be reunited. In addition, students from Qatar studying in the United Arab Emirates must be able to complete their education in the country. Since the summer of 2017, when the conflict erupted, the United Arab Emirates has demanded that Qatari nationals leave the country.
Emirati Prince on the run in Qatar
An emirate prince, from Fujayra, openly criticizes the country’s elite and has sought asylum in Qatar, where he has been for two months. For the New York Times, the prince talks, among other things, about tensions in the emirate as a result of the involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. He also claims that the war has demanded more emiratic lives than is officially allowed.
The emirate sues before the UN court
Qatar is drawing the United Arab Emirates before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, a UN court that is settling disputes between countries. The Emirate is accused of violating human rights and discriminating against Qatarians through their participation in the neighboring countries’ one-year blockade, which included expulsions of Qatarians and arbitrary arrests.
Dialogue with neighboring countries on ice
On the day one year after the neighboring countries froze their relations with Qatar, the Foreign Minister states that a planned purchase of Russian anti-aircraft robots will be completed. At the same time, the defense minister says that Qatar, which is being accused by its neighbors of supporting terrorism and the regime in Iran, eventually wants to join the Western military alliance NATO. No reconciliation talks with the Arab neighbors are expected before this year’s pilgrimage, which falls in August. From Saudi Arabia, it is announced that Qatari pilgrims may enter Mecca.
Product stop after a year of boycott
Products from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt can no longer be sold in Qatar, Qatari government officials say, while announcing inspections and measures to stop imports via third countries. The message is submitted for the anniversary of June 5 by the boycott neighboring countries maintain against Qatar, which is accused of supporting Iran and terrorist groups allied with Tehran. As the flow of goods from neighboring countries has slowed down, trade with Iran, Turkey and Morocco has expanded, the AFP news agency writes.
Terrorist list is published
The government publishes a list of persons and organizations accused of terrorism. Twelve out of 20 individuals selected are Qatari nationals while the others are from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. Several of them are also on a list of 90 terrorists and terrorist groups developed by Saudi Arabia and its allies in the now nine-month-old boycott of Qatar. The UAE Foreign Minister tweeted in a comment that Qatar is now proving that the country’s support for terrorists and extremists is the basic problem of the crisis.
“Boycott constitutes economic warfare”
Qatar is accusing neighboring countries of economic warfare through the boycott that has been going on since June 2017. According to the Foreign Ministry, a committee has been set up to try to provide compensation to those affected by the economic isolation to which the country is exposed. There are still no air connections and basically no trade with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. According to the Qatari authorities, the boycott is hitting both businesses and individuals.