US exports to Qatar reach $5.15bn in 2018: USQBC official
January 13 2019 11:25 PM
USQBC managing director Mohamed Barakat. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed
USQBC managing director Mohamed Barakat. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed

US exports to Qatar have increased in 2018 to reach $5.15bn, a reflection of the continued strengthening of both countries’ trade relations, an official of the US-Qatar Business Council (USQBC) said citing official figures announced during the Qatar-US Strategic Dialogue held on Sunday in Doha.

On the other hand, Qatar’s exports to the US stood at $855mn last year, USQBC managing director Mohamed Barakat told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the second leg of the strategic meeting.

“The trade numbers between Qatar and the US, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, have increased, which is fantastic. We want to advance this and want to do more trade missions because there are more Americans expressing interest in the Qatari market – they have seen a lot of movement and a lot of commitment. The latest trade figures prove that the market is open and it is taking more direct exports from the US and other countries,” Barakat stressed.

In a roundtable discussion at the strategic dialogue, HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari announced that Qatar-US bilateral trade volume stood at $6bn from January to October 2018.

Figures released earlier by the ministry showed that Qatari imports from the US stood at $4.88bn in 2017.

Key US exports to Qatar comprise aircraft and related spare parts, machinery and furnaces, automobiles (excluding trams and rails), electronic and electrical equipment, medical and technical optical equipment, pearls, precious stones and metals, as well as aluminium and its derivatives, mineral fuels, oils and distillates, iron or steel products, prefabricated buildings, furniture, lighting fixtures and signs, plastics and related products and various chemical products, and meat.

“Also, there have been a lot of Qatari private sector entities that have expressed interest in pouring investments in the US, and they want to engage in more collaborations and partnerships.

“We hope that as more strategic dialogues take place, it will drive more businesses to and from both countries. As a council, we will work closely with the US and Qatari governments, and all entities involved, such as the chambers of commerce and private sector players,” Barakat continued.

The official said he hoped the increase in Qatari investments in the US would help facilitate the introduction of more potential and new US products and trade services to the Qatari market.

“There is a lot of increase in investment numbers. We heard that most of the allocations of the Qatari investments in the US have been placed and that there is more to be place,” Barakat pointed out.

In 2015, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) pledged to invest $45bn over a five-year period, of which $10bn would be invested in the US infrastructure. QIA has holdings in real estate and a number of US companies, and has invested in the Bank of America, several funds, and the Mezzanine funds in the US, according to figures from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Last updated: January 14 2019 04:55 PM

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