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DOHA: The distribution sector is the most dominant segment in terms of the number of operating companies in Qatar. Currently, this sector accounts for 59.4 percent of all companies incorporated in the country.
The segment covers all activities that contribute towards the wholesale and retail trade including, but not limited to showrooms, supermarkets, warehousing and transportation.
A document released by the Ministry of Business and Trade that analyses Qatar’s 30 years’ business and industry sector, noted that the distribution sector has been dominating Qatar’s business and trade sector over the years. Between years 2005 and 2009 the wholesale trade grew at a rate of 35 percent as a result of rapid population and consumption growth.
The second largest sector is the construction industry which accounts for about 16.6 percent of incorporated companies followed by the consulting and technical services sectors, which accounts for 9.5 percent and 7.8 percent of the incorporated companies, respectively. Currently education and healthcare account for less than 2 percent of the total incorporated companies in Qatar. However, both these segments have displayed strong growth, particularly during the last decade.
However, in terms of the number of employees in each sector, the construction and contracting industries are the largest employers in the Qatari economy employing more people than the distribution sector and accounting for nearly 50 percent of the total workforce in Qatar.
The ministry analysis reveals there has been a steady growth in all the sectors since the 1980s, though the rate of increase in the last decade has been the highest. This has been a result of increased government spending which averaged about 30 percent of real GDP per year thus building confidence in the economy.
The education sector has experienced compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.9 percent and 18.8 percent over the last 30-and 10-year period respectively. This has been attributed to the government’s emphasis on the education sector and renewed focus on education particularly since the inception of Qatar Foundation in 1995. Similar to investment made in last decade, 14 percent of the State budget has been allocated to education and youth welfare.
The health sector has also witnessed a strong CAGR of 13.7 percent in terms of the number of new entities registered since 1980. During the 1980s the number of healthcare-related entities increased by a CAGR of 12.3 percent, during the 1990s by 14.1 percent and in the last decade by 14.7 percent. The increase in healthcare providers and related entities is a direct result of the increase in population, growth in per capita income, the government’s emphasis on healthcare and the subsequent increase in demand for healthcare services.
Tourism is another sector that has witnessed double-digit growth. Firms catering to tourism sector have grown by 10.7 percent since 2000 as there has been more focus geared towards hosting international sports and cultural events.