Accelerated efforts to boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation between Qatar and the United States (US) have yielded positive results. Both trade exchange and trade balance (from the exchange of goods) between Qatar and the US witnessed sharp jump in 2018.
The US trade surplus with Qatar in 2018 surged to QR10.37bn ($2.85bn), up nearly 49 percent compared to QR6.99bn ($1.92bn) registered in the previous year, official data released for the full year show.
However, the US trade surplus against Qatar, despite registering extraordinary growth in 2018 remained far low compared to QR13.32bn ($3.76bn) recorded in 2016, which was the all time high. In 2016 the Qatar-US bilateral trade peaked to QR22.14bn ($6.08bn).
With the recently released trade exchange figures for the month of December 2018 by the US Census Bureau, the combined value of bilateral trade (in goods) between Qatar and the US, for the full year of 2018, reached QR21.81bn ($5.99bn), showing a significant growth of nearly 40 percent compared to QR15.70bn ($4.31bn) for the corresponding period in 2017. When compared to 2016, the bilateral trade in 2018 almost reached that level, despite the regional and global challenges.
The US exports to Qatar in 2018 increased by nearly 42 percent (year-on-year), while its imports from Qatar soared by about 32 percent. The US exports of goods to Qatar in 2018 increased to QR16.09bn ($4.42bn) against QR11.36bn ($3.12bn) in 2017, while the US imports from Qatar surged to QR5.71bn ($1.57bn) in 2018 from QR4.33bn ($1.19bn) recorded in the previous year.
The US continues to be Qatar’s largest import destination and one of the leading trading partners. According to data released by the Qatar’s Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics, the US was the leading country of origin of Qatar’s imports in December 2018 accounting for QR1.6bn, which was closely followed by China and the UK (in terms of Qatar’s import destinations).
The transportation equipment, including aircraft, accounts for a signification part of the US exports to Qatar. And the US exports to Qatar constitute a major part of the local economy; while the US continue to heavily export advanced technologies such as commercial aircraft, vehicles, heavy equipment, satellite and communications equipment. The US, the world’s largest economy, also provides key management and technical services in engineering, education, and environment technologies to Qatar.
Almost every major construction and infrastructure project in Qatar is currently being managed or supervised by an American engineering firm. Furthermore, six of the seven major universities in Education City are American universities.
The US is a leading investor in Qatar’s oil and gas sector helping produce more than two thirds of the country’s LNG output. The bilateral trade and economic cooperation is to reach new highs with a significant jump in trade volumes in the coming years as both sides are working very closely and aggressively to expand and deepen the relationship in new areas, including more cooperation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector.
Analysts say that the business cooperation in the SMEs sector has great untapped potential as the current level of cooperation in this sector is very limited.
Source from: The Peninsula