24 May 2017
By Santhosh V. Perumal

Foreign investments into Qatar grew by a robust 11% year-on-year to QR537.3bn with foreign direct investments alone accounting for about one-fourth of them, according to the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS).

Of the total inward foreign investments, foreign other investment (excluding financial derivatives) stood at QR332.4bn, FDI (QR133bn) and foreign portfolio investments (QR71.9bn), MDPS said in its updated ‘Qatar Foreign Investment Survey, 2015’, which was released yesterday.

The objective of the survey, conducted in collaboration with the Qatar Central Bank, was to cover all major enterprises (private and public) operating in the national economy. However, data could be obtained only from privately owned companies and public corporations. International financial transactions made by individuals and by the government were not covered.

About 90% of inward FDI was accounted for by the oil and gas and associated downstream manufacturing and other activities such as transportation and marketing. In terms of the book value of investments, manufacturing activities accounted for 56% of the total value of FDI, followed by mining and quarrying (33%) and financial and insurance activities (6%) at the end of 2015.

Manufacturing saw QR74.5bn worth FDI, followed by mining and quarrying (QR43.3bn) and finance and insurance (QR7.5bn), MDPS said.

On region-wise classification, FDI from other American countries amounted to QR47.5bn (36% of the total), followed by European Union QR39bn (29%), the US QR30.8bn (23%) and Asia (excluding Gulf Cooperation Council) QR6.7bn (5%).

The country’s total overseas investments expanded about 12% year-on-year to QR378.3bn with foreign other investments amounting to QR212.1bn, FDI QR130.8bn and foreign portfolio investments QR35.4bn.

Of the total outward QR130.8bn FDI, it said finance and insurance sector accounted for QR47.5bn (36% of the total), followed by transportation and storage; information and communication QR39.9bn (31%), and mining and quarrying QR35.7bn (27%).

Qatar had FDI abroad in about 80 countries, the report said, adding the top four groups of countries accounted for a relative share of 82% of the total at the end of 2015.

Qatar’s FDI in European Union amounted to QR44.6bn (34% of the total outward FDI), followed by the Gulf Cooperation Council QR31.8bn (24%), other Arab countries QR19.5bn (15%) and Asia (excluding Gulf and other Arab countries) QR11.1bn (8%).

A recent report from Kamco Research had found that FDI into the GCC has been on a consistent decline over the past five years with a compound annual growth rate of -15.3%.

© Gulf Times 2017