The resiliency of Qatar’s private sector has played a key role in overcoming the challenges of Covid-19 on the national economy, Qatar Chamber general manager Saleh bin Hamad al-Sharqi has said.
Al-Sharqi said the country’s private sector exports have gradually returned to pre-pandemic levels, reflecting a significant month-on-month (m-o-m) growth of 12.5% from QR1.3bn in December 2020 to QR1.5bn in January 2021.
“Undoubtedly, the ramifications of the spread of Covid-19 have negatively affected the global trade due to lockdowns imposed by many countries at different times during the past year. Indeed, these closures had a clear impact on global trade, causing a contraction of 9% of world economies last year,” al-Sharqi stated in Al Moltaqa, Qatar Chamber’s monthly economic magazine.
Citing data from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), al-Sharqi said the economic and social disruptions caused by the pandemic significantly affected global trade during 2020 and caused “great damage” to the global economy.
“These disruptions also imposed financial difficulties on companies, especially during the second quarter, which witnessed its peak closures, as trade in goods declined by 6%, while trade in services declined by 16.5%. This applies to Qatar's private sector trade with world countries,” al-Sharqi pointed out.
According to certificates of origin issued by Qatar Chamber, the value of private sector exports amounted to about QR14.9bn last year compared to QR21.6bn in 2019, showing a 30% decrease.
Despite the decline, al-Sharqi explained that the data shows an improvement in Qatar’s private sector exports in the last months of 2020, especially in December in which the total value reached QR1.33bn against QR1.17bn recorded in November, or a 13.4% growth.
This increase, according to al-Sharqi, is in line with global trade developments, which began to recover in the fourth quarter of 2020, as it increased by 8% on a quarterly basis, and is expected to witness further increases during this year.
“Locally, Qatari private sector exports have seen a significant rebound in 2021, growing from QR1.3bn in December 2020 to QR1.5bn in January this year, an increase of 12.5%. This showed a remarkable ability of the Qatari private sector to overcome the impact of Covid-19 and return to pre-pandemic levels,” al-Sharqi reiterated.
Data released earlier by the chamber stated that growth in the private sector’s exports was attributed to a considerable increase of 20.1% in exports through the General Model Certificate, which increased by QR160mn.
Exports through Unified GCC to Singapore Model also recorded a sharp increase of 966% (from QR12mn to QR129mn), followed by exports through the Unified Arab Model, which increased by 15%, and exports through GSP Model Certificate showing a 7.1% increase, while exports through GCC Model Certificate was down by 32.9%, the chamber also said.