Qatar is a country on the Arabian Peninsula that consists of an arid desert and a long coastline with beaches and dunes on the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. The coast also features the capital city of Doha, known for its futuristic skyscrapers and other ultra-modern architectural elements inspired by Islamic design of yesteryear, such as the limestone Doha Museum of Islamic Art.

General presentation

Official name: State of Qatar
Type of regime: Emirate
Surface area: 11 571km2.
Capital: Doha
Main cities : Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, Mesaied, Umm Salal
Official language(s): Arabic

National holiday: December 18

Population: 2.7 million (2018), Qataris: about 330,000 (2019)
Population growth: 2.7% (2017)
Density: 227.3 inhabitants/km2
Literacy rate: 97.8% (2017)
Source: Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

Economic situation

Although a small oil producer, Qatar has the world’s third largest natural gas reserves, mainly located in the offshore North Field, which the Emirate has capitalized on by investing early on in the development of significant liquefaction capacities, making it the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2006. This “LNG gamble” enabled Qatar to record exceptional growth in the context of the oil boom of the 2000s and to accumulate colossal financial reserves, which today make it a leading international investor – via the sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and its subsidiaries, as well as, increasingly, via private funds. This boom has also resulted in a rapid rise in the standard of living of the population, which is now one of the richest in the world (GDP/capita of USD 116,000 ppa in 2018).
Although growth has slowed down in recent years, in a context marked by the fall in hydrocarbon prices and the regional context (Qatar has been under embargo by neighboring countries – the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain since June 2017), the Qatari economy remains one of the most dynamic in the CCEAG (growth of 1.4% in 2018, 1.6% in 2017, 2.2% in 2016 and a forecast of 2.6% for 2019), mainly due to developments related to the implementation of the “Qatar National Vision 2030” plan. This plan aims to diversify the economy by focusing on infrastructure development (airport, Hamad port, metro, tramways, hospitals, universities, etc.), health, education, research, sports, tourism, downstream oil and gas, and services. This strategy is beginning to bear fruit, as several of the “national champions” have become international players in their respective segments (Qatar Airways, Ooredoo, Qatar National Bank, but also Qatar Petrochemicals, Ras Laffan Helium). At the same time, Qatari investments in media and sports have given the Emirate a worldwide reputation, which will culminate with the hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Source: DGT

Bilateral Relations

Bilateral investment treaties

Work in process

Double taxation agreements

Work in process

Free trade agreements

Work in process

Leading sector for Swiss companies

Transport equipment
-Mechanical equipment, electrical, electronic and computer
-Metallic and metal products
-Chemicals, perfumes and cosmetics
-Products of agri-food industries


20162017 2018 E2019 E
GDP (in billions of USD)155.79167192.5
GDP per capita (USD)59 514112.818116000
Growth rate2.1%1.6%2.7%2.6%
Unemployment rate0.1%0.1%
Inflation rate2.7%0.4%3.7%3.5%
Public debt (% of GDP)46.753.853.448.7
Budget balance (% of GDP)-4.7-1.63.610.5
Current account balance (% of GDP)-

(Sources FMI, Banque Mondiale)

Main customers

Japan, South Korea, India, China, Singapore
Source: IMF

Main suppliers

China, United Arab Emirates, Germany, United Kingdom

Swiss exports to

Work in process

Exports of …. to Switzerland

Work in process

Swiss direct investment in

Work in process

The business climate

Work in process