DOHA: Qatar has moved up to become the fourth largest Arab market for US goods. Qatar’s imports of the US goods have reached over $3.58bn in 2012, a 27.8 percent increase over 2011.
The top three sectors were transportation equipment ($2.35bn), non-electrical machinery ($342m), and computer & electronic products ($168m).
A new data analysed by the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) noted that 2012 was an excellent year for US exports to the Arab world. The US goods exports to the 22 nations of the Arab world increased from $56.18bn in 2011 to $65.91bn in 2012, an increase of 17.3 percent and the highest single-year sales volume ever. By comparison, total US merchandise exports to the world increased by only 4.5 percent, from $1.48 trillion in 2011 to $1.55 trillion, in 2012.
“Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup in the year 2022, and a number of infrastructure mega projects are now under way”, the NUSACC report said.
The Arab importing countries were led by GCC nations, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which together accounted for more than half of all US merchandise exports to the Arab world (61.74 percent). Egypt retained its position as the third largest Arab market for US goods, despite a drop in sales of nearly 12 percent, probably attributable to political unrest in that nation.
Qatar and Kuwait filled out the top five importing nations. The GCC continues to drive US exports to the region, accounting for 75.7 percent of total sales of goods to the 22 countries of the Arab world.
In 2012, the UAE was the top US export partner in the Arab world, importing $22.57bn in goods from the United States, a 41.9 percent increase over 2011. The top three import sectors were transportation equipment ($10.51bn), computer & electronic products ($2.58bn), and non-electrical machinery ($1.86bn).
Saudi Arabia was the second largest market for US goods, importing $18.12bn in 2012, a 31 percent increase since 2011 data were made available. Top import sectors included transportation equipment ($7.69bn), non-electrical machinery ($3.29bn), and chemicals ($1.21bn).
Exports to Egypt, the third largest Arab import market for US goods, declined from $6.22bn in 2011 to $5.49bn in 2012. This represents an 11.8 percent decrease. Top imports included agricultural products ($1.12bn), transportation equipment ($743m), and non-electrical machinery ($732m).
Kuwait moved up one position to round out the “Top Five Arab Markets” for 2012, despite a 1.6 percent decrease in goods imports from the USA. With total imports from the US reaching $2.68bn in 2012, Kuwait’s top three import sectors included transportation equipment ($1.24bn), non-electrical machinery ($274m), and computer and electronic products ($185m).
Other ‘Top Ten Export Partners’ included Morocco ($2.26bn, down 20 percent from 2011), Iraq ($2.04bn, down 15.4 percent from 2011), Oman ($1.75bn, up 21.8 percent from 2011), Jordan ($1.71bn, up 17.7 percent from 2011), and Algeria ($1.36bn, down 14.6 percent from 2011).