Qatar is a small country in the Persian Gulf region, with one of the world's fastest growing economies. The country is an absolute monarchy, ruled by the Al-Thani family and the head of the state, the Emir, who has ruled the country since 1995. Qatar is considered to be the region's wealthiest country due its substantial oil and gas reserves. Corruption in Qatar does not seem to represent a significant problem for foreign investors, thanks to low levels of petty corruption and red tape and a highly efficient regulatory environment. Policy- and decision-making are much less transparent, and investors are especially advised to exert caution when engaging in large government projects, which often require local intermediaries with connections to high-level politicians.
Positive developments in relation to corruption and investment:
- Qatar ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2007 which resulted in the establishment of Qatar's first anti-corruption agency in 2008.
- Qatar launched a National Strategy for Integrity and Transparency (2008-2012) in 2008. The strategy focuses on preventing corruption, raising awareness and establishing effective processes for investigating corruption.
- In 2009, Qatar hosted the Global Forum IV on Fighting Corruption and Safeguarding Integrity in Doha.
Risks of corruption:
- Personal relationships and connections, known in Qatar as 'Wasta' play a major role when it comes to procurement and government contracting.
- Qatar does not provide for any form of disclosure laws and all members of the ruling family as well as public officials enjoy large degrees of immunity.