In 2014, trade between Qatar and France exceeded €2 billion, an increase of 23% compared with 2013. French exports (€1.45 billion) almost doubled (+96%, in particular due to the Airbus deliveries), while our imports dropped by 25% to €632 million. We therefore have a trade surplus once more (€814 million), following a trade deficit that had lasted since 2010, which is when Qatar began supplying France with natural gas and petroleum products.
According to the latest estimates, 2015 confirms a rising trend in French exports to Qatar since 2013, after a constant decline between 2006 and 2010, followed by a two-year plateau. By the end of the year, they should therefore reach their highest level in ten years.
During the first eight months of 2015, French exports to Qatar grew 300% compared to the same period in 2014 (+460% in the first six months) to reach €1.58 billion. Excluding aeronautics, they also rose by 55% to €463 million, continuing a trend that has been growing for several years, regarding both capital goods and consumer goods.
According to initial IMF estimates for the first quarter of 2015, we have a market share of 6.3%, up from 3% in 2014. France is therefore Qatar’s fifth-largest supplier, after the USA (15.3%), the UK (10.6%), China (7.4%) and the United Arab Emirates (7.3%).
In recent years, France’s direct investments in Qatar have grown rapidly and French companies have managed to forge ahead in many industries: aeronautics, luxury goods, water treatment, retail, construction and arms. According to figures from the Banque de France, France’s stock of direct foreign investment in Qatar totalled €1.9 billion in 2013. France’s presence there continues to grow, with the launch of many projects linked to the organization of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Although the UK is, by quite a margin, the leading recipient of Qatari investments, in both number and value, France remains particularly attractive. The investments of the Qatar Investment Authority constitute a long-term portfolio and enhance the international image of the emirate, which makes many prestige purchases (such as Le Printemps, Paris-Saint-Germain FC and Le Tanneur), especially in property and luxury hotels. The Qatar Investment Authority also invests through a fund that was set up jointly with the Caisse des Dépôts group to support SMEs, called Future French Champions.
Updated on 16.11.15