Libmonster ID: UK-1311
Author(s) of the publication: A. A. TKACHENKO

The topic of this recently published monograph - "Qatar in the XXI century: current trends and forecasts of economic development "(Moscow, International Relations, 2013, 182 p.) - is not only of academic interest.

The book, which was written by a graduate of the International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy of MGIMO (U) of the Russian Foreign Ministry E. O. Kasaev, will undoubtedly attract the attention of a fairly wide range of readers. After all, we are talking about a country with the highest annual income per capita in the world - over $ 100 thousand. In addition, Qatar, along with Russia and Iran, is among the top three countries in the world with the largest proven natural gas reserves. The latter circumstance increases the interest of the Russian reader in such non-traditional issues as the origins of achievements and causes of problems of socio-economic development in the XXI century of the Middle East "gas giant", which many experts and researchers of the world energy economy consider Qatar to be (Chapter 1).

Further, the paper deals with the components of the current strategy of economic development of the Emirate (Chapter 2), trade and economic relations of this Arab state with foreign countries, including Russia, and the features of its foreign economic policy (Chapter 3).

E. O. Kasaev rightly points out that the transformation of Qatar's economy in the 2000s into one of the most dynamically developing in the modern world was due not only to huge revenues from gas exports , but also to such factors as the prudent use of export revenues, a balanced course towards economic liberalization and the active formation of a favorable investment climate, along with improvement of state regulation of economic life.

The economic situation in the Emirate is improving from year to year, largely due to the reduction of bureaucratic pressure on entrepreneurs and the elimination of trade barriers (p. 22). An important role is also played by attracting foreign investment, using advanced technologies and managerial experience, as well as highly qualified personnel, in which until recently there was a large shortage. There is a policy of diversifying the national economy by encouraging the development of high-tech industries. "To encourage activity in non - energy sectors of the economy," the author notes, "the Qatari authorities have launched a" Free Investment Zone "project, in which medium-sized and small businesses operating in agriculture, high technology, tourism and other non-energy sectors will be exempt from paying taxes for 20 years" (p. 13)..

At the same time, the state has undertaken to implement a number of projects in key segments related to the development of infrastructure in the social sphere, such as housing, healthcare, and education, which, in turn, has had a positive impact on many aspects of the country's economic life. All this allowed the small Arab state to take an honorable 11th place in the ranking of 144 countries in 2012-2013 in terms of economic competitiveness.

The" National Development Strategy of Qatar 2011 - 2016", which is analyzed in the second chapter, identifies a set of measures included in the country's modernization program"National Vision-2030". The main goals of the Strategy are to increase the rate of economic growth and ensure sustainable development of the economy, increase the level of social development, and highly effective environmental protection.

The Strategy is based on the implementation of various projects in the field of exploration, increasing production, deeper processing and expanding the export of Qatar's main natural wealth-gas. Most of the research is devoted to these and related issues - the development of alternative energy, various segments of infrastructure, the banking system, the use of information and communication technologies in the economy, as well as the peculiarities of the labor market.

The undoubted advantage of the monograph lies in the fact that the author relied on a wide range of primary sources, the work of leading Russian and foreign Arabists and specialists in the field of international economic relations. This not only strengthens the validity of the estimates contained in the paper, but also allowed its author to formulate a number of practical and scientific conclusions. In particular, having analyzed in detail the main provisions of the economic development strategy of Qatar in 2011-2016, E. O. Kasayev "exposed" the strengths and weaknesses of the Qatari economy, rightly focusing on a thorough analysis of the oil and gas industry.

The author was particularly successful in Chapter 3 "Modern economic relations with foreign countries", written on the basis of an analysis of a large number of scientific works and statistical sources, as well as on a generalization of a wide range of observations and assessments that developed during the practical activities of E. O. Kasaev, who worked in Qatar for a long time.

The author notes that traditionally " ... the United States occupies one of the leading positions in the foreign economic development of the world."-

page 75

Qatari relations." Bilateral economic cooperation is developing in the context of increasing hydrocarbon exports from Qatar, which have grown many times over the 2000s and now exceed $100 billion. per year. The Emirate's foreign economic relations with Asian and industrially developed European countries are also growing dynamically. The prospects for developing their trade and economic cooperation with Qatar are favorable: in the next decade alone, the emirate will need $170 billion. for the implementation of projects, important elements of which will be purchased abroad (p. 114).

Unfortunately, Russia still occupies a more than modest place among Qatar's business partners, despite the efforts made by the Russian side. One of the paragraphs with the eloquent title "Stagnation in relations with Russia" is devoted to overcoming the "blockages"in the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation between our countries. The thoughts expressed by the author in this part of the work deserve the closest attention of our state institutions and private companies working in the Middle East.

In the final paragraph devoted to the analysis of the activities of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), which, along with Qatar and Russia, includes a number of African states, including Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea, E. O. Kasaev gave a balanced analysis of this most important issue.

E. O. Kasayev gave a well-reasoned analysis of the current trends of Qatar's economic expansion to Africa after 2011.

For the first time in Russian science, the monograph analyzes the investment legislation of Qatar, which is necessary for potential Russian investors in the Qatari economy to know. The paper also contains a number of other new theoretical and practical aspects.

At the same time, the author did not quite succeed in describing the features of the domestic and foreign policy course of the ruling dynasty in the brief paragraph "Political situation", although E. O. Kasaev in the introduction to the monograph stipulates that this topic deserves a separate study, and one cannot disagree with this. He rightly points out that the political component of economic development plays an extremely important role, if only because it forms the investment climate in the country, which determines the entire economic life of the state.

A. A. TKACHENKO, Candidate of Economic Sciences, Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences


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