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Forbes ranks Qatar as the world’s wealthiest country

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Forbes magazine ranked the Gas-rich Gulf state Qatar as the wealthiest nation in the world for 2011.

The business magazine which backed its rankings with 2010 data, reported that the “adjusted for purchasing power, Qatar booked an estimated GDP per capita of more than $88,000 for 2010.”

Qatar which has the third largest reserve of natural gas in the world, “has lured multinational financial firms to the country, as well as satellite campuses of U.S. universities,” it added.

The magazine said that the Qatari government is also investing heavily in infrastructure, including a deepwater seaport, an airport and a railway network, “all with the eye to make the country a better host for businesses and the 2022 World Cup.”

After Qatar, Luxembourg came second on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis of just over $81,000. “The country of half a million people became a financial hub in the latter half of the 20th century, in part, thanks to strict banking secrecy laws that earned it the reputation of a tax haven.”

Singapore was third with a GDP per capital of nearly $56,700.

Norway came fourth on the list and that’s due to its petroleum which accounts for nearly half of exports and is the main contributor to its PPP-adjusted GDP per capita of nearly $52,000.

UAE was ranked sixth while Kuwait 15th as the wealthiest countries in the world.

The least wealthy countries however, were Burundi, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with estimated GDPs per capital of $400, $386 and $312 respectively.