Posted on August 06, 2018

Despite facing the ongoing economic blockade and other challenges Qatar-US bilateral trade in goods witnessed a sharp growth in the first six month of this year. The combined value of two-way trade exchange in goods during the H1, 2018 jumped to QR9.61bn ($2.64bn), registering a double-digit growth of about 64 percent compared to QR5.86bn ($1.61bn) recorded in the corresponding period last year (H1, 2017).

With the significant surge in trade volume, the US trade surplus with Qatar (which represents the difference between exports and imports of goods) for the H1, 2018 has also witnessed a steep jump to reach QR3.71bn ($1.02bn) in H1, 2018, up by over 54 percent compared to QR1.71bn ($0.47bn) of the trade surplus recorded during the same period previous year, online data available at the United States Census Bureau official website show. The US exports of goods to Qatar during the January-June 2018 period stood at $1.83bn (QR6.66bn), showing a sharp increase of about 76 percent compared to $1.04bn (QR3.78bn) recorded for the corresponding period last year.

The value of the US imports of goods from Qatar during the first half of this year surged to $810.2m (QR2.95bn), up by 41 percent (year-on-year) from $574.5m (QR2.09bn) for the same period in 2017. The two-way trade exchange for the full year in 2017 stood at $4.32bn (QR15.73bn) with a trade surplus of $1.92bn (QR6.99bn) in favour of the US, one of the leading trade partners of Qatar. The US exports of goods to Qatar in 2017 stood at $3.12bn (QR11.36bn) and its imports from Qatar was $1.19bn (QR4.33bn). Bilateral trade volume in goods between Qatar and the US peaked in 2014 to touch $6.91bn (QR25.16bn) with US exports to Qatar at $5.17bn and imports at $1.74bn. The US trade surplus with Qatar in 2014 reached at $3.43bn.

The transportation equipment, including aircraft, accounts for the majority of US exports to Qatar. 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 provide 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. The business cooperation in the SMEs sector has great untapped potential as the current level of cooperation in this sector is very limited.

The expanded business cooperation between Qatar and the US is expected to further cementing the political relations between the two countries. “We at USQBC are trying to develop a strong relationship that will make money, and that will be very strong basis for bilateral relations when the political relationship is uncertain. A broader business relationship will make the political relationship more stable,” Anne Patterson, President of US-Qatar Business Council said. Patterson reiterated: “The main agenda of the meeting is to promote business between the US and Qatar. We are trying to expand cooperation beyond the defence and the energy sectors.”

source: The Peninsula