Efforts to boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation between Qatar and the United States (US) have yielded remarkable results. Both the trade exchange and trade balance (from the exchange of goods) between Qatar and the US witnessed a sharp jump in the first quarter of this year (Q1 2019).
The US exports of goods to Qatar during the first three months of this year reached $1.196bn, while its imports from Qatar increased to $708.1m during the same period, latest online data released by the United States Census Bureau show.
The sharp rise in trade volume the US trade surplus (the difference between the export and import of goods) with Qatar has resulted in significant growth in the US trade balance with Qatar in Q1 2019. The US trade surplus soared to 488.1m (QR1.77bn) in the first quarter of this year, registering a double-digit growth of over 46 percent compared to the trade surplus of $332.9m (QR1.21bn) same quarter last year.
According to reports, the US trade surplus with Qatar in 2018 surged to QR10.37bn ($2.85bn), up nearly 49 percent compared to QR6.99bn ($1.92bn) registered in the previous year.
However, the US trade surplus against Qatar, despite registering extraordinary growth in 2018 remained far low compared to QR13.32bn ($3.76bn) recorded in 2016, which was an all-time high. In 2016 the Qatar-US bilateral trade peaked to QR22.14bn ($6.08bn).
The US Census Bureau data show that the combined value of bilateral trade (in goods) between Qatar and the US, for the year of 2018, reached QR21.81bn ($5.99bn), showing significant growth of nearly 40 percent compared to QR15.70bn ($4.31bn) for the corresponding period in 2017. When compared to 2016, the bilateral trade in 2018 almost reached that level, despite the regional and global challenges.
The US exports to Qatar in 2018 increased by nearly 42 percent (year-on-year), while its imports from Qatar soared by about 32 percent. The US exports of goods to Qatar in 2018 increased to QR16.09bn ($4.42bn) against QR11.36bn ($3.12bn) in 2017, while the US imports from Qatar surged to QR5.71bn ($1.57bn) in 2018 from QR4.33bn ($1.19bn) recorded in the previous year.
The transportation equipment, including aircraft, accounts for a signification part of the US exports to Qatar. And the US exports to Qatar constitute a major part of the local economy; while the US continues to heavily export advanced technologies such as commercial aircraft, vehicles, heavy equipment, satellite, and communications equipment. The US, the world’s largest economy, also provides key management and technical services in engineering, education, and environment technologies to Qatar.
Almost every major construction and infrastructure project in Qatar is currently being managed or supervised by an American engineering firm. Furthermore, six of the seven major universities in Education City are American universities.
The US is a leading investor in Qatar’s oil and gas sector helping produce more than two-thirds of the country’s LNG output. The bilateral trade and economic cooperation is to reach new highs with a significant jump in trade volumes in the coming years as both sides are working very closely and aggressively to expand and deepen the relationship in new areas, including more cooperation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector.