Qatar-European Union bilateral trade volume touches QR66bn
07 Feb 2017 - 1:34
By Mohammad Shoeb / The Peninsula
Despite economic slowdown and volatile energy prices, Qatar-EU bilateral trade volume has been witnessing a steady growth since 2014. The two-way trade value in 2015 touched $18.11bn (nearly QR66bn), up by 2.66 percent compared to $17.64bn (QR64.23bn) registered during the corresponding period in the previous year.
However, Qatar’s trade surplus with the world’s largest trade block has witnessed a triple digit growth in 2015.
The total value of Qatar’s exports to the European Union (EU) member countries in 2015 was $9.69bn, which has surged by 7.19 percent compared to $9.04bn in 2014. While Qatar’s imports from the EU region in 2015 stood at $8.42bn, showing a decline of 1.98 percent compared to $8.59bn in the previous year.
Qatar’s trade balance with the economic block has been in its favour, at least for over the last several years. Teh country's trade surplus with the EU has increased to $1.26bn, witnessing a sharp jump of 183 percent against $446.9m in 2014,according to statistics provided by Qatar Chamber (QC) on the occasion of a B2B meeting with a visiting EU trade delegation yesterday.
Some of the major Qatari imports from the EU countries, include cars, heavy vehicles, rolling stock and their parts, tools and equipment, electrical machinery, articles of iron and steel, and vegetables. Among major Qatari exports to the region include, oil, gas and other products, mineral fuel, and polymers of ethylene in its primary forms.
The meeting with the EU trade delegation was represented from a wide range of sectors, including infrastructure, sports, communication, security and SME-dedicated firms from several EU member countries, such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
“Qatar and EU enjoy a very old and strong economic relationship, both at government as well as private sector level. The event is part of efforts to enhance the relationship by exploring new opportunities of cooperation”, Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Twar Al Kuwari (pictured), Vice-Chairman of QC, told The Peninsula on the sidelines of the event.
Al Kuwari in his welcome address to the delegates highlighted the opportunities of investment in the Qatari economy.
Commenting on resuming talks for free trade agreement, Al Kuwari, said: “I would like to seize this opportunity to express QC hopes to resume the EU-GCC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which has been suspended in 2008. Indeed, there is a GCC real desire and keenness to find common bases that will help resume these negotiations for the benefits of EU and GCC economies.”
Eric Chevallier, French Ambassador to Qatar, who was also present at the event said that the event aims at highlighting the dynamics of bilateral cooperation between Qatar and the EU, with over 500 million consumers and scores of multinational companies.