Trade and economic co-operation between Qatar and Ukraine “have significantly intensified” over recent years, said Ukrainian ambassador Andrii Kuzmenko, citing data from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine.
Kuzmenko said the total volume of foreign trade (goods and services) between both countries in 2021 stood at “$178.9mn,” “which is the largest figure in the history of Ukraine-Qatar diplomatic relations.”
Speaking to Gulf Times yesterday, Kuzmenko said the volume of trade in goods “increased significantly” and reached “$166.71mn.” At the same time, the volume of exports to Qatar amounted to “$148.03mn,” while the volume of imports of Qatari goods stood at “$18.68mn.” “The positive balance for that period is worth $129.55mn,” the ambassador noted.
Kuzmenko said bilateral trade in services between Ukraine and Qatar “is relatively low.” However, in 2021, there was a slight increase, mainly due to the renewal of transport services, which amounted to “$12.19mn.”
“The export of services to Qatar amounted to $6.44mn. Imports to Ukraine amounted to $5.74mn. The positive balance for Ukraine is $704,000,” Kuzmenko pointed out.
Trade between both countries “took off on a positive note” at the beginning of 2022, the ambassador emphasised. “Exports to Qatar constituted up to $4.88mn, while imports from Qatar stood at $1.39mn in January 2022. Of course, the delivery of commodities was almost fully terminated due to the blockade of the Ukrainian seaport after the war with Russia began,” he explained.
Kuzmenko said: “According to results in 2021, despite the restrictive measures taken by the Qatari government and certain changes in trade policy aimed at combating the spread of the coronavirus infection, a positive trend towards bilateral trade in goods is preserved.”
In 2021, Ukraine’s exports to Qatar comprised the following goods: ferrous metals (54.3%), ‘different items’ (17.6%), fats and oils (12.8%), food industry residues (4.2%), ferrous metal products (2.9%), and milk and dairy products.
Ukraine’s imports from Qatar in 2021 were plastics, polymeric materials (78%), organic chemical compounds (13.9 %), and products of inorganic chemistry (7.9 %).
“The establishment of the Joint Commission on Economic, Trade, and Technical Co-operation between the governments of Ukraine and Qatar brought strong impetus towards the acceleration of trade between the two states, and the deepening and intensification of business and people-to-people ties.
“Both sides have agreed on the key areas of cooperation and mutual interest. The second session of the joint commission took place in August and September 2021 in Kyiv. Both sides confirmed to conduct the third session of the commission in 2023,” he said.
Kuzmenko said the “most successful achievement so far” in the development of investment cooperation between Ukraine and Qatar is the agreement signed between the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA), and Qatari company QTerminals for the concession of the Ukrainian port, Olvia.
The official signing ceremony took place on August 20, 2020, via video conference. Under the agreement, QTerminals will invest about $140mn to develop the port over the next five years, he noted.
Kumenko added: “Qatar’s role in humanitarian relief and development is quite remarkable, and this is the right time to think about post-war reconstruction and development.
“And we believe that the achieved level of bilateral co-operation in the field of trade and economy will be restored after the war, and this will demonstrate new high record levels. Along with this, Qatar is welcome to participate in the implementation of various post-war reconstruction projects to rebuild Ukraine's civilian infrastructure.”
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