DOHA: Qatar-Ecuador bilateral trade has been growing fast over the last few years. The two-way trade volume is expected to witness a sharp jump of over 60 percent in 2016 compared to last year, according to Kabalan Abisaab, the Ambassador of Ecuador to Qatar.
Given the wide-range of opportunities of bilateral cooperation, both the counties, including private businesses, are working very closely to give the trade and investments a major boost in the coming years.
Witnessing a steady growth, the trade volume between the two countries during 2011-2014 jumped to more than double. The total bilateral trade volume in 2011 stood at 6m which increased by 136.6 percent to 14.2m in 2014.
However, 2015 was an exceptional year, when the trade volume declined to 8.3m, understandably a reflection of the global economic uncertainties.
Qatar’s imports from Ecuador in 2015 increased to 6.5m, highest since 2011, while its exports to Ecuador touched 8.5m in 2014, which was all time high since 2011. In 2015 Qatar’s exports to the Latin American nation declined sharply to 1.8m, which caused a decline in bilateral trade volume for the first time since 2011.
The trade balance between the two countries has traditionally been in favour of Ecuador, which surged to 4.7m in 2015 from 2.6m in 2011, according to statistics provided by Qatar Chamber.
‘Qatari businessmen have expressed a lot of interest in investing in a wide-range of promising sectors, including energy, agriculture and agro-products, in Ecuador, which is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, Kabalan Abisaab told The Peninsula on the sidelines of a joint meeting of prominent Qatari businessmen and the visiting trade delegaion from Ecuador. The event was hosted by Qatar Chamber at its headquarters yesterday.
‘Over the last two years several Qatari business groups have visited our country to explore business opportunities… In fact a big Qatari company have already started investing in Ecuador’s oil sector, and also the chairman of a leading real estate giant visited the country this year, and seriously studying investment opportunities in several projects, which include real estate, construction and tourism sector, Kabalan added. He noted that the bilateral trade volume apparently may look small but it is expected to witness phenomenal growth in the years to come. Major Qatari imports from Ecuador during 2015 included animal or vegetable fats and oil, fruits and vegetables and flowers among others.