Exporting goods to Qatar?

If you are a British business interested in selling goods and services in Qatar, then it’s likely you’ll have encountered difficulties in trying to get product into the Gulf state.


The Qatar Gulf crisis threatens to cut off a great opportunity for UK businesses

Qatar has one of the most ambitious infrastructure programmes in the world. It plans to invest up to £140 billion in infrastructure over the next 7 years. Many of these projects are as a result of Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.


Since May 2017 exporting products into Qatar has become increasingly difficult

In May 2016 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt all issued statements announcing the severing of diplomatic relations with Qatar. Saudi Arabia then shut its land borders with Qatar, and together with three other countries imposed a land, sea, and air embargo on Qatar. Jordan also announced that it would scale back its diplomatic ties with Qatar.

These countries have all claimed that Qatar works to support "terrorism", maintains cordial relations with Iran and meddles in the internal affairs of their countries. This has resulted in them imposing a regional diplomatic, transport and trade blockade on Qatar. The move is aimed at curtailing Qatar's maverick foreign policy intervention in the Middle East and North Africa region, and the Horn of Africa. Some of Saudi Arabia's regional allies, including Egypt supported the action.


Spatial Global have been successful in exporting goods to Qatar throughout the embargo

Qatar is a relatively small country, but one of the richest in the world with a very high Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per head. This affluent market with its growing population offers opportunities for UK businesses across a wide range of sectors. Spatial Global has enabled several businesses to export successfully and help UK businesses take advantages of the many business opportunities despite the embargo.


The embargo poses a major challenge to Qatar

40 per cent of its food imports enter the country across the Saudi border.  In 2015, Qatar imported over $400 million worth of agricultural products from Saudi Arabia - mostly dairy products and vegetables. Qatar has strongly rejected the accusations levelled against it, viewing the campaign as an attempt to impose custodianship over the tiny nation.

Both the Emir of Qatar and the country's foreign minister have reiterated that Qatar is willing to negotiate with the boycotting countries, and have welcomed calls from international leaders for the parties to sit down around a table. Currently these requests have fell on deaf ears.


Why British businesses stand to lose out if they can’t get goods into Qatar

There are strong UK-Qatar cultural and historical ties as many Qataris have studied in the UK, have UK homes and visit regularly. Ties between the UK and Qatar oil and gas industries are close, with the liquefied natural gas terminal at Milford Haven in the UK, the largest in Europe, majority owned by Qatar Petroleum. There is also considerable capital spending by the Qatari government on education, healthcare, infrastructure and transportation. All areas where British businesses can add significant expertise and value. Which is why many UK businesses operate in Qatar – but at this time of planned investment, the opportunity could be choked if a way to get past the embargo isn’t found.

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