Qatar named world’s richest country in new Forbes rankings

Tuesday, 28 February 2012 01:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Qatar has been ranked as the world’s wealthiest country in a new list compiled by US magazine Forbes, with Singapore placed third.

The Gulf emirate of 1.7 million people topped the list as the world’s richest country per capita thanks to a rebound in oil prices and its massive natural gas reserves.

Adjusted for purchasing power, Qatar booked an estimated gross domestic product per capita of more than $ 88,000 for 2010, Forbes said, compared with sixth placed $ 47,500 UAE. Kuwait was placed 15th.

Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup and is also in the running for the 2020 Olympic Games, has been a high-profile investor in recent times.

The government is pouring money into infrastructure, including a deepwater seaport, an airport and a railway network, all with an eye to making the country a better host for businesses and the 2022 World Cup, Forbes said.

In second place on its list was Luxembourg, with a per capita GDP on a purchasing-power parity basis of just over $ 81,000.

In third place was Singapore, which thrives as a technology, manufacturing and finance hub with a GDP (PPP) per capita of nearly $ 56,700.

To rank the countries, Forbes said it looked at GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power for 182 nations. It used International Monetary Fund data from 2010.

Norway and Brunei rounded out the top five positions in the list followed by the UAE, the US, Hong Kong, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Other well-heeled countries benefiting at least in part from natural resources are Australia, ranking at No. 11; Canada, at No. 14; and Kuwait, at No. 15, which relies on its crude oil reserves for at least half of GDP, and almost all of its export revenues and government income.

A trio of politically and economically fragile African nations were listed as the poorest countries – Burundi, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where GDPs (PPP) per capita are $ 400, $ 386 and $ 312, respectively.