Qatar’s relations with the European Union have strengthened through investment and trade efforts over the past two years.
Relations between Qatar and the European Union (EU) have developed positively during the past two years, a top official said at the Qatar Trade Summit 2021.
Deputy head of Unit of DG Trade at European Commission Timo Hammaren said trade between the Gulf state and the union has risen to reach a record level of €17 billion in 2019 in terms of trading goods. In the same year, a trend in trading services was able to reach €6.8 billion.
“The Covid-19 pandemic brought down our bilateral trade volumes last year as it did with basically all of our major trading partners. But this is a temporary drop and we’re mending this as we speak. The trade figures are already coming up this year,” said Hammaren.
Hammaren noted that foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Qatar had previously weakened, but that bilateral FDI stocks had remained fortified.
Qatar has invested a total of €32 billion worth in stocks in the EU, with the EU having €7.4 billion worth in stocks in Qatar, almost one quarter of all FDI stocks in Qatar.
“On bilateral relations with Qatar, I remain very optimistic,” he said.
“Our trade and investment flows are on a positive track and we have a lot of common interests in our trade strategies in terms of digitalisation and ‘greening’ of our economies, willingness to iron out any bilateral trade irritants, and cooperation in energy and transport sectors – all of these issues will be discussed in our next senior officials meeting taking place soon,” he added.
In October, Qatar signed a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement with the EU. In 2019, more than 6 million passengers travelled between the two.