Beyond natural resources: Development strategies and implementation, a comparative study between Qatar and Singapore
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Qatar's leadership showed great ambition to transform the state into a developed country where its economy is based on knowledge and not rent; even though that Qatar is privileged to have massive natural gas reserves compared to a small population. Achieving this ambitious goal is a challenging task, but it is not impossible. Qatar would need to best utilize its advantages, such as political coherence and wealth. However, there are some strategic deficiencies and imbalances that can greatly hinder its long-term aspirations. Qatar can best achieve this goal and avoid potential drawbacks in the process by learning from the experience of others. Singapore's case is remarkable where it had virtually non-existent resources but it still managed to transform itself. Within a generation, Singapore became a first world developed country starting from an underdeveloped, newly born state. In addition, Singapore shares core similarities with Qatar in regards to similar country size and the role of leadership for example. The thesis compares between Qatar and Singapore by following a comparative public policy analysis framework. This approach is followed in order to achieve two primary goals. First is to highlight the significance of politics, education and labor market policies towards development, given their direct impact. This would aim to provide these three areas with further attention by policy makers. The second goal is to identify key success factors, by drawing from Singapore's experience. That would allow Qatar formulate better policies in those three indicated areas. The outcomes of the comparative analysis would then be reflected on Michael Porter's Competitive Advantage of Nations framework. This is in order to further underline their position on a macro level, especially in relation to other factors that contribute to the state's overall competitiveness.
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