Jan 23, 2019, 5:31 PM
News Code: 83181655
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Iran exports to Qatar to reach $300m by mid-March

Tehran, Jan 23, IRNA - Iran’s exports to Qatar will reach $300 million by March 20, 2019, said the chairman of Iran-Qatar Chamber of Commerce.

Adnan Mousapour told Iran Daily that Iran’s exports to the Arab state have increased substantially, describing, however, the amount as not very significant given the two sides’ economic and investment opportunities.

He said Tehran’s trade with Doha has seen a big increase after a group of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia blockaded Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain ended their diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. Doha denies the charges.

The dispute led to Libya, the Maldives, Senegal, Mauritania, Comoros, Niger and Gabon breaking off their relations with Qatar as well. Jordan also announced curtailing diplomatic connections with the country.

Mousapour said Iran and Qatar have been forging stronger economic ties ever since the blockade was imposed.

“Prior to the blockade, Iran’s annual exports to Qatar stood at around $60 million-$70 million. In the year to March 2018, Iran exported products valued at $250 million to Qatar.”

In the year to March 2019, Iran’s overseas sales to the Arab state will reach $300 million, he added.

Commenting on the rise in trade between the two sides in the past two years, Mousapour said Iran’s exports to Qatar still fail to be a significant amount.

“Although we have seen a big increase, in terms of percentage, in bilateral trade,” the current level is not satisfactory given Iran’s potential for exports, he said.

“Our current exports to the UAE stand at $6 billion. But our exports to Qatar amount to only $250 million-$300 million.”

He noted that Qatar’s exports to Iran are just limited to some machineries and cars, shifting the trade balance in Iran’s favor.

He said Iran mainly exports non-oil products to Qatar, including agricultural crops and construction materials.

Marketing strategies

Mousapour then outlined the reasons for Iran’s lackluster presence in Qatari markets, citing not having marketing strategies as the main reason.

“The Iranian brands have not been promoted in Qatar very well and there is a misconception regarding our products there in a way that many look down on Iranian products as low-quality ones.”

“Iranian goods are not supplied to Qatari markets in an organized way. We have many good brands in our country but have not been able to introduce our products as premium and best-quality brands,” he added.

The official added Iran’s trade rivals have been able to take advantage of the Qatari blockade more than Iran.

“Exports by Turkey and Pakistan to Qatar stand at more than $1 billion,” Mousapour said.

Opportunities for trade

Turning to the economic status quo in Qatar, Mousapour said Iran can further increase its cooperation with the Persian Gulf Arab state.

Qatar has devised two macro-economic outlooks: One for the 2022, which is the year the country will host the football World Cup, and the other one is for 2030, which is the main economic development outlook for the country, he said.

“Currently, Qatar has established many free trade zones and has invested in many countries across the world. The country has also attracted $180 billion in investment in 2018.

“We can have more cooperation with Qatar in sectors like agriculture, construction and even energy. Exporting techno-engineering services can be another field for expanding cooperation,” he said.

“There are good capacities for greater cooperation provided that the two governments sign more contracts and hand them over to their private sectors,” he concluded.

Source: Iran Daily

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