2013-01-15 14:03:17 - Qatar Business Forecast Report Q1 2013 - a new country guide report on companiesandmarkets.com
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 â and one without much inclination to protest against the government â will keep the country insulated from large-scale public unrest in the immediate term.
Qatar is likely to continue its efforts at enhancing its international investment position over the coming years. We are forecasting the current account surplus to remain above 15% of GDP through to 2016.
Key Risks To Outlook
Given the economy´s heavy reliance on the hydrocarbon sector, a pronounced
global economic downturn â if it were to translate into a sustained drop-off in demand for oil and gas â could impact negatively on our forecasts for Qatar´s external account position, budget and growth outlook. That said, we highlight that the country´s US$100bn sovereign wealth fund â as well as its continuing ability to tap international debt markets â provides the economy with significant bulwarks against these risks.
The Qatari government´s increasingly assertive foreign policy raises some risks in relation to the outlook for regional political stability. In particular, we highlight the potential for the country´s foreign policy to provoke a backlash in the region and the danger that the government could become bogged down in a drawn-out conflict in the Middle East.
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