The WTO published its Qatar Trade Policy Review, Report by the Secretariat in 2005.

Key points to note:

  • Qatar has applied the GCC common external tariff since 1 January 2003.
  • Qatar has never taken any anti-dumping, countervailing or safeguard actions and is yet to implement the WTO Agreement or Customs Valuation.
  • Key industries such as energy, transport and telecommunications remain dominated by public companies. Some of these are sheltered from competition and represent a drain on public revenue.
  • Agriculture has a decreasing share of GDP but is an important sector of the economy because of Qatar’s food security objective. Qatar is a net importer of agricultural products and food security is promoted through low customs tariffs.
  • Qatar Petroleum, a state owned company, holds the monopoly for oil and natural gas.
  • Qatar’s manufacturing sector is based on its comparative advantages in gas-intensive industries. The government of Qatar holds majority or significant shareholdings in major manufacturing companies in industries such as steel, cement and fertilizers.
  • The services sector is dominated by several state owned companies, some of which are a monopoly or hold exclusive rights, such as telecommunications, postal services and air transport.
  • Qatar is a strong supporter of a multilateral trading system, but should consider the potentially greater advantages of further market opening on a multilateral basis.