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Qatar’s trade surplus hit $52 billion last year, minister says

Qatar’s trade surplus hit $52 billion last year, minister says

Qatar’s trade surplus reached $52 billion in 2018, the country’s Minister of Commerce and Industry said Sunday.

More than 20 months after the economic and diplomatic blockade enacted by its neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar is endeavoring to tell the world that business is carrying on as usual.

The tiny gas-rich monarchy has expanded its trade relations after the blockade effectively cut its access to an estimated 60 percent of the goods it imported.

The countries who implemented the blockade charge Qatar of supporting terrorism, which the Qataris strongly deny.

Speaking at a forum on Qatar-Pakistan trade, Minister Ali Al Kuwari said trade between the two countries grew over 230 percent in 2018 to $2.6 billion, Reuters reported Sunday. Trade with Iran and Turkey has also increased, while Doha is pursuing partnerships with Western countries, including an open skies agreement with the EU which will be the first between the bloc and any Gulf Cooperation Council state.