The Qatar government encourages overseas investment in Qatar conditioned on a majority Qatari interest. For example, the Qatar Petrochemical Company is jointly owned by the government of Qatar (80%), the French company Cdf Chimie Atochem (10%), and the Italian company Enichem (10%). Qatar Liquefied Gas Company, which began production in 1996, is a venture between the state-owned Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (QGPC) with 65% and four other foreign firms including the US firm Mobil Oil with a 10% stake. In 1992 the firm signed a sales and purchase Agreement with the Chubu Electric Power Company in Japan for the sale of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year for a period of 25 years. Another US company, Phillips Corporation signed an agreement with QGPC in May 1977 for establishing a new $750 million petrochemical complex at Umm Said Industrial Area.
Until the mid 1990s, Japanese and European firms were the leading international suppliers to the following industrial sectors: power generation, water desalination, telecommunications, motor vehicles, heavy machinery, and petroleum equipment. Since then, however, the market share of US companies has risen to over 14%. Foreign investment in enhanced oil recovery and production, and in liquefied natural gas (LNG) across the period 1992 to 2002 is estimated to have totaled over $10 billion. Published Foreign direct investment (FDI) statistics show a peak of $418.3 million in 1997, declining to $113.3 million in 1999. In 2000 FDI rose to $251.6 million, but declined to $237.4 million in 2001. Average annual FDI 1997 to 2001 was $273.58 million.