The Qatar economy showed high resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil price collapse, and also achieves the highest credit ratings in the world.Qatar Chamber Qatar Chamber (QC) recently issued its monthly economic newsletter for January 2021, which highlights the most prominent trends in the Qatari economy, as well as statistics related to foreign trade and trade in the private sector in November 2020.

The newsletter, prepared by QC’s Research & Studies Department, features a report about the Qatari economy in 2020 indicating that it has shown great resilience and efficiency during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant decline of oil prices. International indicators show that the Qatari economy has obtained the highest credit ratings worldwide.

In light of this, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Qatar’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 2.7% in 2021 thanks to growing natural gas production and a rebound in domestic demand, as well as the economy’s ability to quickly recover from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IMF also praises the state’s swift response in implementing containment measures which helped limit the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

QC’s newsletter also outlined a report on Brexit and the economic relations between Qatar and the UK. According to figures given by Planning and Statistics Authority for November 2020, the total value of foreign merchandise trade statistics amounted to QAR24.1 bn, an increase of 2.1 % compared to October 2020 (QAR23.6 bn).

Exports and Imports

Qatar Chamber Foreign trade Jan 2021In November 2020, the total exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) amounted to around QAR16.6 bn, an increase of 8.5% compared to QAR15.3 bn in October. Imports during the same month amounted to around QAR7.5 bn, showing a decrease of 9.6% compared to QAR8.3 bn in October.

The country’s trade balance – the difference between total exports and imports – showed a surplus of QAR9.1 bn, an increase of 30% compared to QAR7 bn in October.

In November 2020, China was the top country for Qatar’s foreign trade with about QAR3.9 bn, a share of 16.2% of the state’s total foreign trade.

The report also highlighted private sector trade during November 2020, according to the certificate of origin issued by QC, which reached QAR1,176 bn, a decrease of 5.2% compared to QAR1,240 bn in October.

The value of exports in November increased by 105% against April, the lowest month of the year, while it decreased by 69% compared to February, the highest month of 2020.

Qatar Chamber Private Sector Jan 2021The private sector’s aluminium exports were top with a 29.6% share of the total value, followed by essential and industrial oils (21.1%), and industrial gases (14%).

India was the top country for private sector exports with close to QAR259 mn, 22% of the total exports, followed by The Netherlands (almost QAR214 mn, 18.23 %), and Bangladesh (QAR127 mn, 10.77%). Turkey was fourth (QAR89.2 mn, 7.59%) and Oman (QAR88.9 mn, 7.3 %).

Asian countries led the economic blocs that received private sector exports (QAR679 mn, 57.72%), followed by EU states (QAR283 mn, 24.10%). Third was the GCC states (QAR111 mn, 9.43%), followed by Arab countries excluding GCC states (QAR89 mn, 7.57%) and African Countries excluding Arab countries (QAR11 mn, 0.9%).

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