Qatar still the World’s Richest Nation

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The Pearl-Qatar in Doha, Qatar, is an artificial island spanning nearly four million square metres. It is the first land in Qatar to be available for freehold ownership by foreign nationals.
The Pearl-Qatar in Doha, Qatar, is an artificial island spanning nearly four million square metres. It is the first land in Qatar to be available for freehold ownership by foreign nationals. Photo-Santosh/Flickr

The Gulf state of Qatar retained its ranking as the world’s wealthiest nation in 2012, with it’s per capita income rising to USD 106,000.

The Washington-based Institute for International Finance (IIF) reported that Qatar’s per capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) has continued to increase steadily over the past two years. The country was followed by Luxembourg (USD 80,000), Singapore (USD 61,000) and Norway (USD 54,000). In 2010, Qatar overtook Luxembourg as the world’s richest country with a per capita income of USD 88, 559.

In 2012, Qatar’s GDP climbed to a record USD 182 billion, thanks to higher gas exports and oil prices. Among other Gulf countries, Kuwait had the highest per capita income of USD 48,108. It was followed by UAE (USD 45,781), Oman (USD 25,806), Saudi Arabia (USD 22,377) and Bahrain (USD 20,770). On the other hand, African countries lie at the bottom of ranking, occupying the last 10 spots. Congo has the world’s lowest per capita income of USD 365.

With global assets worth an estimated USD 115 billion, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) was ranked 12th among sovereign wealth funds worldwide. As international investors look to tap new opportunities, the profile of sovereign wealth funds hace risen significantly since 2007. Foreign governments too, are showing an increased interest in sovereign wealth funds. In 2012, the assets under management of these funds rose by eight percent to around USD 5.2 trillion. Further, the value of other sovereign investment vehicles, such as pension reserve funds and development funds, have increased to USD 7.7 trillion.

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