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Qzone

Qatar: Market Profile

Picture: Qatar factsheet
Picture: Qatar factsheet

1. Overview

Economic growth of Qatar is likely to accelerate slightly in the short term, as rising energy receipts help ease fiscal constraints, spending on the multi-year infrastructure upgrades ahead of the FIFA World Cup continues, and the USD10 billion Barzan natural gas facility comes online in 2020. Government investment in economic diversification initiatives will continue apace even as hydrocarbon output is set for moderate expansion. Qatar's peg to the United States dollar means that monetary policy will continue to track the United States Fed's tightening cycle. Government efforts to ease the costs and lighten the effects of the blockade on the population will likely limit the scope for cutting spending sharply.

Sources: World Bank, Fitch Solutions

2. Major Economic/Political Events and Upcoming Elections

June 2017
Saudi Arabia led an air, land and sea blockade by a number of Arab countries (including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt) against Qatar.

January 2018
In a bid to boost non-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign investment (especially in the wake of the GCC crisis), Qatar passed a new foreign investment law in January 2018 (which came into effect from March 2018). This law has removed the 49% cap on foreign ownership of businesses in Qatar in a wide variety of sectors.

March 2018
The CEO of the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) announced that Qatar was looking to diversify its sources of inward foreign direct investment (FDI) towards Asia in this new era. Qatar was reportedly looking to assist this process by making it easier for foreigners to obtain work visas and purchase real estate within its borders.

December 2018
Qatar announced that it would withdraw from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in January 2019, citing a move towards a greater reliance on gas exports rather than petroleum.

Sources: BBC Country Profile – Timeline, Fitch Solutions

3. Major Economic Indicators

Graph: Qatar real GDP and inflation
Graph: Qatar real GDP and inflation
Graph: Qatar GDP by sector (2017)
Graph: Qatar GDP by sector (2017)
Graph: Qatar unemployment rate
Graph: Qatar unemployment rate
Graph: Qatar current account balance
Graph: Qatar current account balance

e = estimate, f = forecast
Sources: IMF, World Bank, World Economic Outlook Database
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

4. External Trade

4.1 Merchandise Trade

Graph: Qatar merchandise trade
Graph: Qatar merchandise trade

e = estimate (this only applies to imports for 2012)
Source: WTO
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

Graph: Qatar major export commodities (2017)
Graph: Qatar major export commodities (2017)
Graph: Qatar major export markets (2017)
Graph: Qatar major export markets (2017)
Graph: Qatar major import commodities (2017)
Graph: Qatar major import commodities (2017)
Graph: Qatar major import markets (2017)
Graph: Qatar major import markets (2017)

Note: Trade Map (Mirror Data)
Sources: Trade Map, Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

4.2 Trade in Services

Graph: Qatar trade in services
Graph: Qatar trade in services

Source: WTO
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

5. Trade Policies

  • Qatar has been a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since January 13, 1996 and a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade since April 7, 1994.

  • Qatar is a member of the GCC, which consists of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar. GCC membership means that Qatar is part of a single market and customs union with a common external tariff. Under the accord, goods imported into the GCC area can be freely transported throughout the region without paying additional tariffs.

  • The standard rate of external tariff is 5% (ad valorem) in accordance with the GCC customs union. According to the WTO, Qatar's simple average most favoured nation (MFN) applied tariff was set at 5.7% for agricultural goods and 4.6% for non-agricultural goods in 2016.

  • Value-added tax (VAT) of 5% will likely be introduced in 2020 in accordance with the GCC.

  • The average applied import tariff for goods entering Qatar is 3.36%.

  • For cultural and religious reasons, import tariffs of 100% are levied on alcoholic drinks, and import tariffs of 200% are levied on tobacco products (GCC tariff). The Qatar Distribution Company (QDC), a subsidiary of the national air carrier Qatar Airways, has the sole authority to import alcohol products.

  • Even before the blockade, importers to Qatar have faced, on average, the highest tariff rates out of all six GCC member states. The country imposes additional tariffs beyond the Common External Tariff on a wide range of products, and has a stringent import licenseing regime.

  • Non-Qataris are barred from engaging in distribution activities in Qatar. Importers, who must be Qatari nationals, have to register in the Importers Register and be approved by the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI).

  • Certain local manufacturers are protected by a higher customs duty. For example, Qatar has a 15% tariff on records and musical instruments, 20% on steel and cement and 30% on urea. Imports of pork and pork products are prohibited. With the approval of the Director General of Customs, some categories of goods may be temporarily allowed to be imported without collection of customs duties. These include heavy machinery and equipment for project execution, semi-finished products, use in exhibitions and temporary events, machinery and commercial samples. This approval is normally valid for a period of six months, but may be extended by another six months.

  • Sanctions imposed on June 5, 2017 by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and the Maldives, among others, moved to cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Modest price pressures associated with higher import costs from the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf – and resultant restrictions on intra-regional cross-border movements – appear mostly transitory, fading with the government-led (and partly government-funded) development of new supply chains.

  • There are additional import requirements for meat and meat products to ensure that they are halal-compliant.

Sources: WTO - Trade Policy Review, Fitch Solutions

6. Trade Agreement

6.1 Trade Updates

The Saudi-led land, air and sea blockade has made exporting and importing products to and from Qatar far costlier and more difficult. As its only land border with Saudi Arabia has been closed, ships destined for Qatar cannot dock at certain ports and its aircraft are not allowed to use certain airspace. However, Qatar has mostly proved resilient and has found ways to work around the barriers imposed by its neighbours.

6.2 Multinational Trade Agreements

Active

  1. GCC: In January 2015, the GCC implemented a customs union and a free trade agreement (FTA) that allows free movement of local goods among member states. Members of the GCC are Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. This agreement helps member states to leverage one another's industrial capacity and logistics networks. The geographic proximity of these countries and their general adoption of free trade economic policies are factors that foster a competitive business environment. Only imports on certain sensitive goods from GCC countries face tariffs, and there is freedom of movement between GCC countries without customs or non-customs restrictions.

  2. GCC-Singapore: The GCC-Singapore FTA (GSFTA) became effective on September 1, 2013. The GSFTA eliminates most tariffs (99%) on Singapore's exports to the GCC. This is a comprehensive agreement covering trade in goods, rules of origin, customs procedures, trade in services, and government procurement among others. Key sectors benefitting include telecommunications, electrical and electronic equipment, petrochemicals, jewellery, machinery and  iron and steel-related industry. The recognition of the halal certification of Singapore's Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS) will also pave the way for trade in halal-certified products to gain faster access to the GCC countries.

Singed But Not Yet In Effect

  1. The Trade Preferential System of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC): The agreement would see to the promotion of trade between member states by including MFN principles, harmonising policy on rules of origin, exchanging trade preferences among member states, promoting equal treatment of member states and special treatment for least developed member states and providing for regional economic bodies made up of OIC nations to participate as a block. The agreement will cover all commodity groups. The OIC comprises 57 members, making a full realisation of such an agreement highly impactful, encompassing approximately 1.8 billion people. Although the framework agreement, the protocol on preferential tariff scheme and the rules of origin have all been agreed on, a minimum of 10 members are required to update and submit their concessions list for the agreements to come into effect. As of January 2019, only seven nations have done so.

  2. GCC-European Free Trade Association (EFTA) (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland): The GCC and the EFTA signed an FTA on June 22, 2009 which entered into force on July 1, 2014. The agreement covers the progressive elimination of tariffs in trade in services and manufactured goods as well as investment, and other trade-related issues, such as protection of intellectual property, and is fully consistent with provisions of the WTO. In addition, bilateral arrangements on agricultural products between individual EFTA States and the GCC form part of the instruments establishing the free trade area between both sides. Between 2014 and 2017, total trade between the GCC and EFTA grew by 22%.

Under Negotiation

  1. Australia-GCC: Australia and the GCC share a significant economic relationship, encompassing trade and investment across a broad range of goods and services. The GCC is a key market for agricultural exports such as livestock, meat, dairy products, vegetables, sugar, wheat and other grains. The agreement provides an opportunity to address a range of tariff and non-tariff barriers related to food exports that will benefit the GCC.

  2. GCC-China: The first-round negotiations of the GCC-China FTA commenced on April 27, 2005. Greater trade liberalisation will help develop the industrial and service sectors. Qatar mainly exports commodities such as hydrocarbons to China and imports electrical goods and machinery from China. Trade liberalisation with the GCC will help the group integrate and grow with mutual cooperation and comprehensive tariff reduction. In 2017, China accounted for 12% of the GCC's total global trade.

  3. India-GCC: The GCC and India are negotiating an FTA. The agreement is expected to remove restrictive duties, push down tariffs on goods and pave the way for more intensive economic engagement between the nations. More than 50% of India's oil and gas comes from the GCC countries.

  4. Japan-GCC: Japan and the GCC are negotiating an FTA. This agreement will seek to reduce tariffs and liberalise services trade and investment. Japan mainly imports aluminium, natural gas, liquid natural gas and petroleum products from the GCC, while Japan mainly exports electronics, vehicles, machinery and other industrial products to the GCC.

  5. GCC-Pakistan FTA: Negotiations are currently ongoing between the GCC and Pakistan for the conclusion of an FTA between them (the third round of negotiations was held in August 2017). While in 2016, Pakistan accounted only for an estimated 1.2% of Qatari exports (mostly liquified natural gas and a small amount of crude), and only around 0.3% of Qatari imports, there has been a recent shift in these dynamics brought on by the GCC diplomatic crisis. Since June 2017, when the Saudi-led bloc severed all diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, Qatar has been required to diversify its import partner portfolio (especially for foodstuffs). Therefore, in August 2017, a new direct shipping route was launched between Qatar's Port of Hamad and Pakistan's Port of Karachi (with shipping times estimated at taking around four days). Qatar Airways has also reportedly strengthened its air operations to Pakistan, and it is now much easier for Pakistan citizens to obtain visas to work in Qatar. Since the blockade was imposed in 2017, trade flows between Qatar and Pakistan have received a significant boost.

  6. Other: A number of other GCC FTAs are currently under negotiation. The countries engaged in negotiations include New Zealand, South Korea, the MERCOSUR bloc and Turkey.

Sources: WTO Regional Trade Agreements database, government websites, Fitch Solutions

7. Investment Policy

7.1 Foreign Direct Investment

Graph: Qatar FDI stock
Graph: Qatar FDI stock
Graph: Qatar FDI flow
Graph: Qatar FDI flow

Source: UNCTAD
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

7.2 Foreign Direct Investment Policy

  1. The Qatar Business Development and Investment Promotion Department under the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) is responsible for promoting business development and attracting FDI. Information related to Qatar's investment climate and incentive schemes are provided on the MEC website. Qatar offers various incentives in attracting FDI, including import duty exemption on machinery, equipment and spare parts for industrial projects, tax exemptions on corporate tax for pre-determined periods and export duty exemption.

  2. Qatar launched its economic diversification plan 'Vision 2030' in October 2008, which aims to transform the country's state-owned and petroleum-dominated economy into a model more characterised by increased diversification and private sector involvement.

  3. Two Free Zones, namely the QFC and the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), have been established, with tax and duty incentives provided. Currently, Qatar's government is encouraging foreign investment by streamlining licensing and financial sector regulations, with the corporate tax rate set at 10%. More recently, Qatar has started work on the country's new special economic zones, which will be divided into three projects, namely the Ras Bufontos, the Umm al Houl and the al Karaana, to focus on different sectors. These three zones are expected to be completed in phases between 2017 and 2022 and offer favourable tax and duty incentives.

  4. Qatar used its trade surplus accumulated from oil and gas wealth to establish the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). QIA and its subsidiaries invest in leading companies in non-oil sectors, such as hotels, retail, real estate and manufacturing, in the hope of lifting Qatari standards and diversifying the economy. The establishment of sizeable financial endowments helps Qatar provide continuity and predictability of funding for essential services, such as health and education, despite the fluctuation of hydrocarbon receipts.

  5. Massive infrastructure projects are underway, including the construction of stadiums, rail connections and highways. In an effort to increase the transparency of available investment projects, in June 2016, the Qatari government launched a new online procurement portal to consolidate information on all government tenders.

  6. In a bid to boost non-GCC foreign investment (especially in the wake of the GCC crisis), Qatar passed a new foreign investment law in January 2018 (which came into effect from March 2018). This law has removed the 49% cap on foreign ownership of businesses in Qatar in a wide variety of sectors. Now, 100% foreign ownership is permitted, with no Qatari equity partner required. Restrictions on the purchasing of real estate and franchises still apply, and government approval for banking and insurance licenses is still required.

  7. Qatar has some restrictions on the foreign ownership of property. Although the GCC nationals are allowed to own up to three properties in Qatar, other foreigners are limited in terms of the areas (Pearl, West Bay Lagoon and parts of al Khor) in which they can purchase real estate. Non-GCC foreigners can own property in these specific areas (land or residential), or they can enjoy rights to property for a period of 99 years (which is renewable) in certain 'investment areas'. This right has to be registered in order to be legally recognised.

  8. Foreign participation is not allowed at all in the public transport, electricity and water, steel, cement, and the fuel distribution and marketing sectors.

  9. Quotas exist for the mandatory employment of Qatari nationals in certain sectors, such as banking and insurance.

  10. The telecoms sector was opened to private competition from 2007, and there are some international players operating in Qatar in the critical oil and gas sector.

  11. Foreign players hold interests in the upstream oil sector. However, the downstream sector is completely dominated by state-owned Qatar Petroleum. Qatar's large and lucrative hydrocarbons industry has historically offered the main attractions for foreign investment, with exploration and production by foreign companies permitted through production sharing contracts with Qatar Petroleum, which controls all hydrocarbons activities in the country. Foreign investment is nevertheless warmly received owing to the technology and expertise that can be provided by foreign businesses.

Sources: WTO – Trade Policy Review, ITA, US Department of Commerce

7.3 Free Trade Zones and Investment Incentives

Free Trade Zone/Incentive ProgrammeMain Incentives Available
QSTP in Doha- The park is intended to attract companies with a science and research focus.

- Applicants who receive license to operate within this Free Trade Zone (FTZ) receive the following benefits:
  • Operate as a local company, or operate as a branch of a foreign company
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Hire expatriate employees
  • No taxes
  • Duty-free import of goods, services, equipment and tools into the free zone
  • Unrestricted repatriation of capital and profits
Three further FTZs are under development in Doha, one near the Hamad International Airport (with a focus on light manufacturing and financial services), one near the Industrial Area (for manufacturing and transport industries) and one near Mesaieed (with an emphasis on the energy sector)These zones allow businesses to import goods and services customs-free, and offer a range of other incentives.
QFC- The QFC was set up in 2005 in order to assist in turning Qatar into a global financial hub and encourage investment from foreign banks and financial services providers in Qatar.

- Incentives include:
  • 100% foreign ownership;
  • 100% profit repatriation;
  • A flat 10% corporate tax on locally-sourced profits only
  • A legal environment based on English common law

Source: Fitch Solutions

8. Taxation – 2019

  • Value Added Tax: 0%
  • Corporate Income Tax: 10%

Source: Ministry of Finance Qatar

8.1 Important Updates to Taxation Information

  • January 2019 saw Qatar establish the General Tax Authority (GTA). The GTA will be tasked with implementation of tax laws, as well as improving the country's level of tax compliance. These duties and responsiblities previously fell under the auspices of the Qatari Ministry of Finance.

  • Qatar has entered into double tax agreements (DTAs) with more than 40 countries, including mainland China and a Comprehensive DTA with Hong Kong, which was concluded in 2013.

  • GCC countries have signed a VAT common framework. The Cabinet of Qatar has approved a draft law on VAT and its executive regulations as put forth by the Qatar Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance has announced that Qatar will not be introducing VAT in 2019 as the effects are still being assessed.

8.2 Business Taxes

Type of TaxTax Rate and Base
Resident companies wholly owned by Qatari citizens/GCC nationalsExempt from corporate income tax
Resident companies not wholly owned by Qatari citizens/GCC nationalsTaxable up to the levels of profits ultimately attributable to non-GCC national shareholders and GCC shareholders who are not tax residents in Qatar, at a flat rate of 10% (but only on profits of Qatari-sourced income)
Withholding TaxDividends - 0%
Interest - 7% (with certain exceptions)
Royalties - 5%
Non-resident companiesFlat rate of 10%
Stamp dutyTaxed at rates specified in their agreements, provided the tax rate is not less than 35% of their taxable income
VATNone
Property Transfer TaxNone

Source: Ministry of Finance Qatar
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

9. Foreign Worker Requirements

9.1 Localisation Requirements

Developing human capital and increasing nationals' workforce participation constitute key elements of the GCC member states' economic diversification plans, and will thus  continue to drive labour market policies across the region over the coming decade. Localisation policies have been devised to promote the employment of Qatari nationals in the private and public sectors. Therefore, quotas for the mandatory employment of Qatari nationals exist in certain sectors, such as banking and insurance.

9.2 Kafala System and New Immigration Law

Typically, as a result of relatively small domestic populations and the fact that a large portion of the domestic working-age population is employed by the public sector in all six of the GCC states, employing foreign workers to fill low-skilled and high-skilled positions for the private sector has been relatively easy. The large presence of migrant workers in Qatar is attributed to the 'Kafala' (sponsorship) system, which emerged in many GCC states in order to regulate the relationship between employers and migrant workers in these countries. The employer is seen as the foreign worker's sponsor, and is entirely responsible for their visa and legal status. A downside risk is that some foreign workers have had their passports and wages illegally withheld by GCC employers, and some risk not being allowed to leave the country or change employers without their current employer's permission.

The main commercial objective of the Kafala system is to facilitate the steady supply of temporary and rotating labour rapidly in to such countries at times of an economic boom, and which could be expelled fairly easily in less prosperous periods. However, increasing pressure on GCC states from human rights groups about the exploitation of foreign workers under this system (specifically in relation to the treatment of foreign workers on various construction projects for FIFA 2022 projects), paired with rising economic pressures in GCC states owing to the 2015/2016 global slump in oil prices, the ease and costs of hiring foreign workers in Qatar is expected to become more difficult over the medium term. From December 2016, the Qatar government announced the coming into force of its New Immigration Law. Under this new law, the Qatari government plans to change the sponsorship relationship, which forms the basis of the Kafala system, to one of an employment contract.

Furthermore, migrant workers employed under the Kafala system will no longer require their employer's permission to leave the country, but are instead required to apply to the Ministry of Interior, which will, in turn, inform the employer. Migrant workers who have completed their fixed-term contracts will no longer need their employer's permission to take another job.

9.3 Obtaining Foreign Worker Permits for Skilled Workers

Under Qatar's New Immigration law (which came in to force in late 2016), a foreign worker may only apply for a work permit if they have an offer of employment from a Qatari national, a business registered as a legal entity or a resident family member on whom the individual is dependent.

Once the employer has made the application to the relevant Qatari labour authority, the expatriate employee will be issued their residence permit (if granted) within 30 days.

9.4 Visa/Travel Restrictions

In a bid to make Qatar a more attractive international tourist and business destination for countries outside of the Gulf region, in early August 2017, the Qatari government announced the launch of its new visa-free program for over 80 countries worldwide. Nationals from over 33 countries will be allowed to enter and stay in Qatar for up to 180 days without a visa (only a valid passport being required), and citizens of another 47 countries will be permitted to stay in Qatar for up to 30 days without a visa. This will make business travel to the country far easier for a wide range of international companies. Citizens of GCC states and Turkey do not require a visa. Citizens from a wide array of countries (the main eurozone states, the United States, various Central Asian states, Japan and Malaysia) may apply for a 30-day visa on arrival.

Sources: Government websites, Fitch Solutions

10. Risks

10.1 Sovereign Credit Ratings


Rating (Outlook)Rating Date
Moody's
Aa3 (Stable)13/07/2018
Standard & Poor's AA- (Stable)
07/06/2017
Fitch Ratings AA- (Stable)16/10/2018

Sources: Moody's, Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings

10.2 Competitiveness and Efficiency Indicators


World Ranking
201720182019
Ease of Doing Business Index
83/19083/19083/190
Ease of Paying Taxes Index
1/1901/1902/190
Logistics Performance Index
N/A30/160N/A
Corruption Perception Index
29/180N/AN/A
IMD World Competitiveness17/6314/63N/A

Sources: World Bank, IMD, Transparency International

10.3 Fitch Solutions Risk Indices


World Ranking
201720182019
Economic Risk Index RankN/A77/20289/202
Short-Term Economic Risk Score
58.355.655.4
Long-Term Economic Risk Score57.456.154.0
Political Risk Index RankN/A76/20268/202
Short-Term Political Risk Score84.484.481.0
Long-Term Political Risk Score6969.070.6
Operational Risk Index RankN/A35/20136/201
Operational Risk Score64.566.266.2

Source: Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

10.4 Fitch Solutions Risk Summary

ECONOMIC RISK
The primary economic threat for Qatar is lower energy prices, given its over-reliance on hydrocarbon exports. Nevertheless, the sheer size of the country's exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) - Qatar accounts for one-third of global LNG trade - means that the fiscal account will remain roughly balanced even in a structurally lower energy price environment. Moreover, the government's plans to boost the non-hydrocarbon private sector will gradually reduce the economy's reliance on oil and gas revenues, limiting the risks involved in a future crisis.

OPERATIONAL RISK
Qatar is one of the GCC and regional outperformers in terms of the relatively sound operating environment that this market provides for businesses. Qatar is a regional outperformer for its logistics network and the country provides a safer operating environment than many of its regional peers. While interstate tensions between Qatar and a Saudi-led bloc have become far more elevated since June 2017, tensions are not expected to escalate beyond these measures. Qatar has efficient tax, bureaucratic and legal systems, a low tax burden and lower perceived levels of corruption than its regional peers.

Source: Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

10.5 Fitch Solutions Political and Economic Risk Indices

Graph: Qatar short term political risk index
Graph: Qatar short term political risk index
Graph: Qatar long term political risk index
Graph: Qatar long term political risk index
Graph: Qatar short term economic risk index
Graph: Qatar short term economic risk index
Graph: Qatar long term economic risk index
Graph: Qatar long term economic risk index

100 = Lowest risk; 0 = Highest risk
Source: Fitch Solutions Economic and Political Risk Indices
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

10.6 Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index


Operational RiskLabour Market RiskTrade and Investment RiskLogistics RiskCrime and Security Risk
Qatar Score66.265.061.8
71.666.5
MENA Average48.352.348.048.744.1
MENA Position (out of 18)236
1
3
Global Average49.750.349.849.049.8
Global Position (out of 201)3622563148

100 = Lowest risk; 0 = Highest risk
Source: Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index

Graph: Qatar vs global and regional averages
Graph: Qatar vs global and regional averages
Country
Operational Risk IndexLabour Market Risk Index
Trade and Investment Risk IndexLogistics RiskCrime and Security Risk Index
UAE73.671.279.168.775.3
Qatar66.265.0
61.871.6
66.5
Oman66.262.261.964.576.0
Bahrain66.063.169.571.560.1
Saudi Arabia62.667.262.162.758.6
Jordan59.156.960.759.060.0
Kuwait55.5
54.251.252.564.1
Morocco54.143.263.854.854.6
Egypt49.349.945.756.445.3
Tunisia47.142.256.247.342.8
Lebanon44.743.051.941.432.4
Iran43.049.536.750.835.1
Algeria42.046.131.142.947.9
West Bank and Gaza34.848.837.432.021.2
Libya28.047.222.129.313.4
Syria27.345.523.727.012.7
Iraq27.143.7
24.828.611.3
Yemen22.432.724.915.816.1
Regional Averages48.352.348.048.744.1
Emerging Markets Averages46.048.146.544.744.8
Global Markets Averages49.750.349.849.049.8

100 = Lowest risk; 0 = Highest risk
Source: Fitch Solutions Operational Risk Index
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

11. Hong Kong Connection

11.1 Hong Kong’s Trade with Qatar

Graph: Qatar major export commodities to Hong Kong (2018)
Graph: Qatar major export commodities to Hong Kong (2018)
Graph: Qatar major import commodities from Hong Kong (2018)
Graph: Qatar major import commodities from Hong Kong (2018)

Note: Graph shows the main Hong Kong exports to/imports from Qatar (by consignment)
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

Graph: Qatar merchandise exports to Hong Kong
Graph: Qatar merchandise exports to Hong Kong
Graph: Qatar merchandise imports from Hong Kong
Graph: Qatar merchandise imports from Hong Kong

Note: Graph shows Hong Kong exports to/import from Qatar (by consignment)
Exchange Rate HK$/US$, average
7.75 (2014)
7.75 (2015)
7.76 (2016)
7.79 (2017)
7.83 (2018)
Sources: Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, Fitch Solutions
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019


2017
Growth rate (%)
Number of Qatari residents visiting Hong Kong2,525
-31.2

Source: Hong Kong Tourism Board


2017
Growth rate (%)
Number of Middle East residents visiting Hong Kong129,816-0.2

Source: Hong Kong Tourism Board
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

11.2 Commercial Presence in Hong Kong


2016
Growth rate (%)
Number of Qatari companies in Hong KongN/A
N/A
- Regional headquarters
- Regional offices
- Local offices


11.3 Treaties and agreements between Hong Kong and Qatar

Qatar is a member of the GCC and GAFTA. It has also entered into DTAs with more than 40 countries, including mainland China, and concluded a comprehensive DTA with Hong Kong in December 2013. Qatar entered into a bitaleral investment treaty with mainland China in April 2000.

Sources: Hong Kong Department of Justice, UNCTAD Investment Policy Hub

11.4 Chamber of Commerce (or Related Organisations) in Hong Kong

The Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ARABCCI)

ARABCCI was established in Hong Kong in 2006 as a leading organisation at promoting commercial ties between Hong Kong, mainland China and the Arab World.

Address: 20/F, Central Tower, 28 Queens Road, Central, Hong Kong
Email: info@arabcci.org, secretariat@arabcci.org
Tel: (852) 2159 9170

Source: The Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Consulate General of The State of Qatar in Hong Kong
Address: Level 19, Cheung Kong Center, 2 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong
Email: hongkong@mofa.gov.qa
Tel: (852) 3469 5259, 3469 5260
Fax: (852) 3469 5257

Source: Visa on Demand

11.5 Visa Requirements for Hong Kong Residents

A Qatar tourist visa is not required for Hong Kong residents for a stay up to 1 month.

Source: Immigration Department
Date last reviewed: May 14, 2019

Content provided by Picture: Fitch Solutions – BMI Research