The report highlights the most prominent trends in the Qatari economy as well as statistics related to the foreign trade.
Commenting on the report, QC Director General Saleh bin Hamad Al Sharqi said that issuing this issue by the Chamber aims to provide a monthly analysis about the Qatari economy as well as the most important stories that are of interest to businessmen and investors.
He noted that the newsletter would represent among references that provide an overall view about the Qatar economy, economic sectors and investment climate in the country.
“The newsletter will be sent to all Arab, foreign and joint chambers around the world,” he added, saying that the Chamber continues to issue its monthly magazine “Al Multaqa” but in PDF due to the suspension of printing activities due to the crisis of coronavirus.
The newsletter demonstrated the developing role of the private sector in the economic activity and in the sustainable development as well as its responsibility towards the society.
It showed that with the spread of coronavirus in Qatar and in world countries, the private sector has showed a rapid response with the state’s plans and directives taken with a view to protecting the society from the virus impacts.
It also emphasized the Qatar Chamber’s role played during the crisis. Since the crisis started, the Chamber, through its board of directors, sectorial committees and executive management, does not leave stone unturned in combating the repercussions of the spread of Coronavirus through its board of directors, sectorial committees and executive management.
It announced a number of measures to ensure that the private sector plays a complementary role to the measures taken by the government to address the economic crisis resulting from the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
In this regard, QC Chairman HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al thani announced that the Chamber formed an emergency committee to follow economic developments related to coronavirus crisis and to be a focal point between companies and government bodies contributing to minimizing the health-related and economic impacts of the virus.
The committee focused on monitoring all developments at the level of all economic sectors and ensuring the flow of goods and commodities to the lock-down areas at the Industrial Area where a multitude of commercial companies are working . It also represented a communication link between companies and government agencies.
The Chamber’s measures also included the launch of “Takatuf Initiative” that intended to urge the Chamber’s members, public and private joint-stock companies and businessmen to support the country’s efforts to arrest the spread of Coronavirus.
Measures also included expanding the Chamber’s online services through the system it established last year to implement the standards of the International Chamber of Commerce in issuing the COO. The Chamber also adopted plans allowing its employees to work online from their homes, in addition to allocating around-the-clock hotlines to answer any inquiries from merchants and businessmen.
The report also presented the role of the Chamber’s sectorial committees in addressing issues relating to the private sector through committees’ meetings that focused on reviewing repercussions of the spread of the virus in the national economy.
The issue also reviewed an analysis of the country’s foreign trade in February 2020 and the private sector’s trade according to the certificates of origin issued by the chamber for exporting companies.
It said that according to the figures given by The Planning and Statistics Authority for February 2020, the total the value of foreign merchandise trade statistics amounted to QR 29 billion, showing a decrease of 10.2% compared to January 2020, amounted to QR 32.3 billion.
In February 2020, the total exports of goods (including exports of goods of domestic origin and re-exports) amounted to around QR 21.3 billion, while the Qatari imports during the same month amounted to about QR 7.7 billion.
Therefore, the foreign merchandise trade balance, which represents the difference between total exports and imports, showed a surplus of QR 13.6 billion, recording an 8.8% increase by nearly QR 12.5 billion or 8.8% compared to January 2020.
In February 2020, Japan was at the top of the countries of destination of Qatar’s exports with close to QR 3.845 billion, a share of 18.0% of total exports, followed by India with almost QR 3.341 billion and a share of 15.7 %, South Korea with about QR 2.822 billion, a share of 13.2%. China comes in the fourth place with almost QR 2.286 billion, a share of 10.7% and Singapore with about QR 2.211 billion, a share of 10.4%.
According to imports, the United State of America was the leading country of origin of Qatar’s imports with about QR 1.075 billion, a share of 13.9% of the total imports amounted to QR 7.7 billion, followed by China with QR 879 million almost, a share of 11.4%, and United Kingdom with QR 522 million, a share of 7.9%.
India comes in the fourth place with about QR 522 million, a share of 6.8%, followed by Germany with QR 408 million, a share of 5.3% of the total value.
With regard to the exports of the private sector, the Chamber’s data said that the private sector’s total exports during February amounted to QR 1.95 billion, with an increase of 6% compared to QR 1.84 billion in January.
The aluminum group came first in the list, with exports amounted to QR 415 million, recording an increase of 33% compared to QR 311 million in January, while the second was the steel group, with exports amounted to QR 244 million, decreasing by 39% compared to QR 398 million in January.
Essential oils exports came in the third place with exports amounted to QR 166 million, compared to QR 82 million in January and the chemical fertilizers are in the fourth place, with exports amounted to QR 91 million, keeping its value almost the same as in January.
In the fifth place is paraffin with exports amounted to QR 75 million, with an increase of 54% compared to QR 49 million.
Helium gas and other industrial gases exports amounted to QR 62 million were recorded as the sixth largest, a slight increase of 8% as in January.
Lutreine comes in the seventh place with exports amounted to QR 59 million, compared to QR 42 million or a share of 39% in January.
Chemicals and petrochemical substances at the eighth and ninth places respectively. Chemical exports amounted to QR 50 million recording a 35% decrease compared to January, while petrochemicals exports amounted to QR 42 million, almost the same value as in January.
The report indicated that exports via the “General Model” is the largest value, amounted to QR 1 billion, followed by exports through GSP with a total value of about QR 466 million. Exports of the GCC model came in the third place with a value of about QR 423 million, followed by Arab certificate of origin with a value of QR 46 million and finally the certificate of unified GCC to Singapore, which amounted to QR 19 million.