Qatar’s economy achieved top credit ratings globally in 2020, showing remarkable resilience and efficiency during crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the slump in oil prices, Qatar Chamber said in its January 2021 edition of its monthly economic newsletter.
The newsletter, prepared by the chamber’s Research & Studies Department, highlighted the most prominent trends in the Qatari economy, as well as statistics related to foreign and private sector trade in November 2020.
It also stressed that the economy’s resilience in 2020 was backed by international indicators “unanimously agreeing that the Qatari economy has obtained the highest credit ratings worldwide.”
In this connection, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Qatar's GDP to grow 2.7% in 2021 with the help of growing natural gas production and a rebound in domestic demand, as well as the economy's ability to quickly recover from the consequences of Covid-19. The IMF also lauded Qatar's swift response in implementing containment measures to help limit the economic and social impact of the pandemic.
The newsletter also outlined a report on Brexit, as well as economic relations between Qatar and the UK.
Citing November 2020 figures from the Planning and Statistics Authority, the newsletter said the total value of foreign merchandise trade amounted to QR24.1bn, showing a 2.1% increase over October 2020, which amounted to QR23.6bn.
In November 2020, the total exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) amounted to QR16.6bn, showing an 8.5% increase compared to QR15.3bn in October, while imports during the same month amounted to QR7.5bn, down 9.6% compared to QR8.3bn in October.
The country's trade balance – the difference between total exports and imports – showed a surplus of QR9.1bn, or 30% increase compared to QR7bn in October.
China was at the top of the countries of destination of Qatar's foreign trade with about QR3.9bn, or a 16.2% share of the state's total foreign trade in November 2020.
Private sector trade in November 2020, according to the certificate of origin issued by the chamber, reached QR1.17bn, a 5.2% decrease compared to QR1.24bn in October.
The decline was attributed to the decrease in exports through the GSP model, which slid by QR81mn compared to QR276mn in October, while exports through the General Model, Unified Arab Model, and Unified GCC increased by 14.9%, 13.75%, and 6.1%, respectively.
The value of exports in November 2020 jumped 105% compared to April 2020, which the lowest month of the year; it decreased by 69% compared to February – the highest month of 2020 in terms of exports value.
According to the type of commodities, aluminium topped the list of the private sector's exports with 29.6% share of the total value, followed by essential and industrial oils (21.1%) and industrial gases (14%). Chemical fertilisers ranked fourth in the list with 11.3% and paraffin with 7% of the total value.
In November 2020, India was at the top of the countries of destination of private sector's exports with close to QR259mn, a 22% share of the total exports, followed by the Netherlands with QR214mn and a share of 18.23%. Other countries that followed were Bangladesh (QR127mn, 10.77%), Turkey (QR89.2mn, 7.59%), and Oman (QR88.9mn, 7.3%).
Asian countries were at the top of economic blocs that received private sector exports amounting to QR679mn with a share of 57.72 % of the total value, and followed by European Union states with a share of 24.10% from exports worth QR283mn.
GCC states, with total exports worth QR111mn or 9.43% of the total value, was followed by Arab countries (excluding GCC states), which received QR89mn or a 7.57% share, and African countries (excluding Arab countries) with exports worth QR11mn or 0.9%.