From a continental perspective, $63.8 billion or 81.8% of Qatar’s total exports by value in 2015 were delivered to other Asian trade partners.
European importers purchased 11.9% of Qatari shipments while 2% worth of products arrived in African countries.
At 1.5%, a much smaller portion of Qatari exports were bought by North American importers with 1.1% going to Latin American (excluding Mexico) and Caribbean nations.
Qatar’s Top 15 Import Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Qatar’s top import partners, countries that imported the most Qatari shipments by dollar value during 2015. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Qatari exports.
- Japan: US$16.2 billion (20.8% of total Qatari exports)
- South Korea: $13.5 billion (17.3%)
- India: $9.3 billion (11.9%)
- China: $5.2 billion (6.7%)
- United Arab Emirates: $4.7 billion (6.1%)
- Singapore: $3.5 billion (4.5%)
- United Kingdom: $3.5 billion (4.5%)
- Taiwan: $3 billion (3.9%)
- Thailand: $2.7 billion (3.5%)
- Italy: $1.6 billion (2%)
- Belgium: $1.3 billion (1.7%)
- Turkey: $971 million (1.2%)
- United States: $909.8 million (1.2%)
- Saudi Arabia: $896.6 million (1.1%)
- France: $820.8 million (1.1%)
Almost nine-tenths (87.4%) of Qatari exports in 2015 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Italy increased its import purchases from Qatar by the highest percentage from 2011 to 2015, up by 1,213%. Turkey was in second-place with a 31.5% gain followed by China at 16.4%.
Singapore led the decliners with a -57.2% depreciation in its imports from Qatar over the latest 5-year period followed by Singapore (down -57.2%) and the United Kingdom (down -56.6%).
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 2015, Qatar incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:
- United States: -US$2.7 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2015)
- Germany: -$2.3 billion
- Switzerland: -$713.6 million
- Saudi Arabia: -$509.2 million
- France: -$424.9 million
- Sweden: -$317.2 million
- Austria: -$217 million
- Australia: -$207.8 million
- Vietnam: -$159.9 million
- Oman: -$156.5 million
Among Qatar’s import partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Qatari deficits with the United States (up 75.6%), Germany (up 54.4%) and Switzerland (up 36.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2011 to 2015.
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.
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 2015, Qatar incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:
- Japan: US$14.1 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2015)
- South Korea: $12.6 billion
- India: $8.1 billion
- Singapore: $3.4 billion
- Taiwan: $2.8 billion
- Thailand: $2.2 billion
- United Arab Emirates: $1.9 billion
- United Kingdom: $1.6 billion
- China: $1.5 billion
- Belgium: $1.1 billion
Among Qatar’s import partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, the only three country-specific Qatari surpluses to expand from 2011 to 2015 were: Egypt (up 4,921%), Thailand (up 7.4%) and Indonesia (up 2.6%).
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 Import 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 and Top Middle Eastern Export Countries
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 30, 2016
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on May 30, 2016
Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on May 30, 2016
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Qatar. Accessed on May 30, 2016
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 30, 2016