Qatar expects foreign companies, mainly from the United States, to invest $15 billion into its energy sector by 2005, Finance Minister Yussef Hussein Kamal said in statements published Tuesday, April 10.
"Qatar is expecting $15 billion worth of investments in the energy sector by 2005," Kamal said, quoted in Gulf Times . "A major chunk of this is expected from the United States," he told a US-Qatari conference on "Free Markets and Democracy" on Monday.
Kamal said investments by US companies already topped 75 percent of the $28 billion so far ploughed into the oil and gas sector. "After 10 to 15 years we expect these companies to provide tax that would equal about 40 to 50 percent of our budget."
Qatar is one of the smaller members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, with a quota of 653,000 barrels a day, which it hopes to boost to 900,000. Doha began signing production accords in the 1990s with foreign companies in a bid to increase output.
The emirate, home to just 744,483 people, four-fifths of whom are expatriates, also sits on top of the world's third largest gas reserves after Russia and Iran, estimated at more than 500 trillion cubic feet (14 trillion cubic meters).
Qatar "offers foreign investors security, safety, political stability, internationally up-to-date legislation and a judicial system free of the state," Kamal said. — (AFP, Doha)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )