Qatar, located in the Middle East, is a peninsula slightly smaller in area than the state of Connecticut that borders on the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. It occupies 11,586 sq. km and has a total population of 2.042 million growing at 0.81%. Its capital and largest city, Doha, has 427,000 inhabitants. The predominantly Muslim population is ruled by an emirate government. The official language is Arabic, and the currency used is Qatari Riyal.
Qatar’s economy has grown enormously despite the recent global economic downturn and has one of the world’s largest rate of growth at 6.6%. Qatar also has the world’s highest per-capita GDP and lowest unemployment rate. Primary trade partners include Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and India. Rising oil prices have continued to fuel this growth, and the direct investment by the Qatari government into domestic banks has protected the banking sector. Current economic policy in Qatar is centered around the development of natural gas resources, and efforts have been made to attract private and foreign investment for non-energy sectors in order to diversify the economy. Currently, oil and gas account for over 50% of Qatar’s GDP and 85% of export earnings. Qatar contains the world’s third-largest natural gas reserve, and oil reserves can sustain current output for the next 50 years. Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2012 World Cup will most likely bring about large projects to improve infrastructure, including a causeway to connect Qatar and its neighbor Bahrain.
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* CPI Score is published by Transparency International and relates to the perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts and ranges between 100 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).
**Ease of Doing Business Ranking is determined by the World Bank Group and is ranked out of a possible 185 countries. www.doingbusiness.org
Most recent statistics have been taken from the CIA World Factbook unless noted otherwise.
International Franchising Opportunities
After you have finished researching the international markets, learning international expansion strategies and best practices, and understanding the basics of international franchising law, IFA provides numerous opportunities for franchising internationally.