Qatar shipped US$57.3 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016. That figure represents roughly 0.4% of overall global exports.
From a continental perspective, $47.2 billion or 82.4% of Qatari exports by value were delivered to Asian countries while 10.4% were sold to European importers.
Qatar shipped another 3.3% worth of goods to African customers with 1.3% going to North America. At 1.1%, a smaller percentage was bought by Latin American nations (excluding Mexico) and Caribbean countries.
Qatar’s Top 15 Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Qatar’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Qatari shipments by dollar value during 2016. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Qatari exports.
- Japan: US$10.9 billion (19.1% of total Qatari exports)
- South Korea: $9 billion (15.6%)
- India: $7.4 billion (12.9%)
- China: $4.5 billion (7.8%)
- United Arab Emirates: $3.8 billion (6.6%)
- Singapore: $3 billion (5.2%)
- Thailand: $2.2 billion (3.8%)
- United Kingdom: $1.88 billion (3.3%)
- Taiwan: $1.85 billion (3.2%)
- Egypt: $1.11 billion (1.9%)
- Italy: $1.1 billion (1.9%)
- Belgium: $854.6 million (1.5%)
- Pakistan: $697.2 million (1.2%)
- United States: $683.5 million (1.2%)
- Malaysia: $665.8 million (1.2%)
Almost nine-tenths (86.5%) of Qatari exports in 2016 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Three countries increased their import purchases from Qatar from 2015 to 2016 namely Pakistan (up 121.2%), Egypt (up 59.2%) then Malaysia (up 27.5%).
The United Kingdom led the decliners with a -46.1% depreciation in its imports from Qatar year over year, followed by Taiwan (down -38.9%) and Belgium (down -36.1%).
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
In 2016, Qatar incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:
- United States: -US$3.9 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2016)
- Germany: -$2.7 billion
- Saudi Arabia: -$865.2 million
- France: -$730 million
- Switzerland: -$672.4 million
- Canada: -$313.2 million
- Australia: -$265.5 million
- Sweden: -$229.4 million
- Austria: -$221.7 million
- Italy: -$186 million
Among Qatar’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Qatari deficits with Canada (up 105.2%), France (up 71.8%) and Saudi Arabia (up 69.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2015 to 2016.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Qatar’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Qatar to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Overall Qatar posted a $25.3 billion trade surplus during 2016.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
In 2016, Qatar incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:
- Japan: US$8.8 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2016)
- South Korea: $8.3 billion
- India: $6.2 billion
- Singapore: $2.6 billion
- Thailand: $1.8 billion
- Taiwan: $1.7 billion
- China: $1.2 billion
- United Arab Emirates: $842.7 million
- Egypt: $787.5 million
- Belgium: $616.4 million
Among Qatar’s trading partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, only Egypt expanded its black ink at the expense of Qatar earning a 132.8% increase.
Nevertheless, these positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Qatar’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Qatar to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Qatari Trading Partners
Eight Qatari corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015 albeit many of these are in the financial services. Below are samples from the 2015 Forbes listing.
- Qatar National Bank (regional bank)
- Ooredoo Telecom (telecommunications services)
- Industries Qatar (specialized chemicals)
Wikipedia lists export companies from Qatar. Selected examples are shown below:
- Qatar National Cement Company (cement manufacturing)
- Qatar Petroleum (oil, gas)
- Qatar Steel (steel, other basic materials)
- Qatargas (natural gas)
- RasGas (natural gas)
See also Qatar’s Top 10 Exports, Top Middle Eastern Export Countries and Saudi Arabia’s Top 10 Exports
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 17, 2018
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 17, 2018
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 17, 2018
The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on August 17, 2018
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on August 17, 2018
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Qatar. Accessed on August 17, 2018
Wikipedia, Qatar. Accessed on August 17, 2018