Qatar’s trade surplus reaches QR68.8bn

The combined value of Qatar’s trade surplus for the first five months of this year (January-May 2019) has reached QR68.8bn (about $18.9bn), official monthly figures compiled by The Peninsula show.

The combined value of Qatar’s international trade in goods from January-May 2019 period stood at QR159.33bn ($43.7bn). The total value of the exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) for the period amounted to QR114.23bn ($31.36bn), while the total imports stood at QR45.1bn ($12.38bn), compiled monthly figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority show.

The trade balance is the difference between the total exports and imports of merchandise for a particular period of time. The trade balance can be deficit or surplus depending on the value of exports and imports, but for Qatar, being the world’s largest exporter of LNG, the energy-rich country has been enjoying a trade surplus for years.

Despite the unjust ongoing blockade imposed by some of Qatar’s traditional trading partners, such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, for more than two years, Qatar’s foreign trade has not only remained resilient and robust but registered steady growth over the period as a result of meticulous planning and strategy.

Since the blockade (imposed on June 5, 2017) Qatar has been working on new trade and economic policy which include export promotion and import substitution. This is part of a long-term comprehensive economic diversification strategy which received more focus of authorities concerned and got further accelerated after the siege, which saw some of Qatar’s immediate neighbours abruptly severing all political and economic ties, including exports of all kinds of goods and essentials items aiming to create a crisis in the country.

However, Qatar remained resilient as a result of concerted efforts on the part of public and private sector. The country’s exports have grown steadily and imports have either remained stable or declined after local firms ramped-up their production to substitute imports.

For instance Qatar’s export in May 2017 (a month before the blockade) had stood at QR20.2bn which has grown to QR24.7bn in May 2019, registering a sharp growth of over 22 percent. And Qatar’s trade surplus in May 2017 stood at QR10.7bn which has soared to QR13.6bn in May 2019, up 27 percent in two years.

Qatar’s import in May 2017 stood at QR9.5 which declined to QR8.5bn February 2019 and QR9.2bn in May 2019.

Qatar’s monthly foreign merchandise trade surplus this year peaked to QR15.8bn in January 2019 came down to QR13.6bn in May 2019, which was still up 3.8 percent (or QR500m) compared to QR13.1bn in the previous month.

Source from: The Peninsula