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PRESS RELEASE: PRESS/TPRB/244
21 and 23 February 2005

TRADE POLICY REVIEW: QATAR

Further reforms would help sustain already impressive economic growth

Qatar’s development strategy, together with high international crude prices since mid-1999, has resulted in an impressive economic performance in the past few years, with an average growth rate of around 9% over the period 1996-2003, according to a report on the trade policies and practices of Qatar published by the WTO Secretariat.

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Despite Qatar’s diversification efforts, the economy is still dominated by oil and gas (56.1% of GDP, around 70% of public revenue, and almost 90% of total merchandise export earnings). Qatar has been implementing measures to improve its business and investment climate, with the objective of further attracting foreign direct investment. Nevertheless, foreign companies remain excluded from investing in certain key activities, such as banking, insurance and commercial services.

The report notes that Qatar’s market remains quite open despite the slight increase in protection following the implementation of the common external tariff of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) of which Qatar is a member. It also stresses that the country needs to bring some elements of its trade regime more up to date and into greater conformity with WTO provisions. Continued reforms, including on tariffs and privatization, and further improvement of Qatar’s multilateral commitments, both on goods and services, would contribute to better resource allocation and increase the predictability of its trade regime.

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> Programme of reviews for 2005

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The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government, will be the basis for the Trade Policy Review (TPR) by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO.

The following documents are available in MS Word format.

  

Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Genève 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.

 

Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

Mongolia: 15 and 17 of March 2005
Paraguay: 27 and 29 of April 2005
Nigeria: 11 and 13 of May 2005