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INTRODUCTION

A broader progress

The man behind the vision: The Emir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani has helped turn Qatar into the world’s fastest-growing country

While Qatar enjoys unprecendented economic growth, the country is also championing tradition

Today, Qatar boasts the world’s fastest-growing economy. Overall nominal GDP growth for 2009 is estimated to be 9.5%. For this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is forecasting an incredible 23.3% rise in growth, expected to scale back to a still very strong 12.7% for 2011.

And there’s more. Export revenue growth is predicted to be on average 52% for this year and next, driven by the coming on stream of new LNG, GTL and oil production.

The country’s budget surplus, counting LNG revenues, will widen to 22.2% of GDP this year, says the EIU. Finally, according to the CIA Factbook, at $121,400, Qatar enjoys the second highest GDP per capita in the world.

Although it is undeniable that hydrocarbon resources, and in particular natural gas, have a lot to do with these remarkable figures, the relative immunity of the country to the global financial crisis, coupled with the sustainable development of Qatar’s hydrocarbon and non-oil sectors, are testimony to something larger at work – a guiding vision that continues to successfully combine gradual development with a lasting respect for tradition.

Founded by the Emir of Qatar, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, this vision was encapsulated in the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030). This national strategy differs from other long-term national plans in that it stresses the modernization and preservation of traditions, while following a path of managed growth for sustainable development.

Although Qatar is promoting economic diversification, QNV 2030 stresses above all the strengthening of small business and the creation of knowledge. This is indicative of a prudent and holistic approach that has contributed to bringing the country to its current economic heights.

The Emir has said, “We will work on pursuing our development efforts in the social, scientific and urban fields as well as in the sphere of culture, art, and other aspects of human activity that go hand in hand with continuous progress in the economy.”

Dr. Ibrahim B. Ibrahim, secretary general of the General Secretariat for Development Planning, adds, “QNV 2030 aims at transforming Qatar into an advanced country by 2030, capable of sustaining its own development and providing a high standard of living for all its people for generations to come”.

THE PILLARS OF SUSTAINABILITY

At the helm of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, HH Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned, who was once named the 79th Most Influential Woman in the World by Forbes Magazine, helped the country reach another milestone last year with the opening of the Qatar Science & Technology Park. Her commitment to generating a culture of quality in Qatar through education and social reform is having a far-reaching impact on the country and the region, and seamlessly complements the national vision of the Emir.

Sheikha Mozah comments, “Education can become a global force to build strong civic societies across the world in which citizens communicate and share their common human experiences. It can be the impetus that redirects the globalization process from its current economic objective to a more humane and moral agenda.”

 
 
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