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Qatar Major Trade Agreements

The total value of FOB imports into the country increased by 8.5% in the second quarter of 2014 to QR 57.41 billion ($15.7 billion), compared to QR 52.9 billion ($14.5 billion) for the same period in 2013. The MDPS attributes this situation to the increase in imports of machinery and motor vehicles, as the government is advancing a large number of infrastructure projects under QNV 2030. The total value of imports amounted to 98.13 billion euros in 2013. QR98.13 billion ($26.9 billion), QR 29.2 billion ($8 billion) of industrial goods, 20.2 billion QR ($5.5 billion) in transportation equipment and 13.27 billion QR ($3.6 billion) in consumer goods. Although imports have increased in recent years, particularly those of machinery and construction-related goods, export revenues, which have been largely generated by the oil and gas sector, have maintained the trade balance to Qatar`s benefit. According to the MDPS` economic outlook for 2014-15, Qatar`s trade surplus was 52.1% of nominal GDP in 2013, while its current account surplus was 30.9% of nominal GDP, allowing the government to position itself in a way that would increase trade and investment activities. Sustainable development is a priority in the government`s trade and investment strategy. The Investment Act requires public authorities, when approving majority foreign ownership of a project, to ensure that it adapts to the broader development plans of the state, as led by Qatari National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030), which aims to increase economic diversification, stimulate non-oil growth, improve the value of the hydrocarbon sector and develop human capital. In a 2014 report on the investment climate, the U.S. State Department found that Qatar prioritized foreign investment in projects using local raw materials, manufacturing export products, creating new products, using innovative technologies, supporting knowledge transfer and improving human resources. In the construction sector, in line with Qatar`s diversification and development priorities in QNV 2030, large-scale contracts are generally awarded to joint ventures between foreign and local companies. Qatar is South Korea`s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas and the fifth largest oil supplier, and South Korea is Qatar`s second largest exporting partner and second largest trading partner. Korea`s ambassador to Qatar said the volume of trade between countries reached $26.72 billion in 2013, a marginal increase from $26.24 billion in 2012, but a 25.9% increase from $21.21 billion in 2011.

The EC reports that Qatar`s exports to South Korea amounted to about $24 billion, compared to $955 million in imports. Export growth has been supported by initiatives to improve the non-oil economy. The Qatar Development Bank (QDB), for example, launched its Tasdeer programme in 2011, which provides credit export insurance and advisory services to exporters. QDB has notified QR250 million QR250 million ($68.5 million) of new commercial contracts for Qatari exporters following the participation of 60 Qatari SMEs in 10 international trade shows. BILATERAL COMMERCE: According to the EC, six of Qatar`s top ten trading partners are East Asian countries, led by Japan (1st) and South Korea (2nd), with India, China and Singapore in fourth, fifth and sixth place and Thailand in eighth place. The EU is Qatar`s third largest trading partner, followed by the United States (7th), the United Arab Emirates (9th) and Saudi Arabia (10th). In recent years, Asian countries have seen many new investments and trade agreements with Qatar.

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