Demand for Spanish agro-food products in Qatar has seen a meteoric rise as agro exports of Spain to Qatar increased 49 percent in the first eight months of this year, Miguel Angel Fajardo, Commercial Attaché at the Spanish Embassy, has told The Peninsula.
“From an economic point of view and in trade terms, the agro-food sector is one of the most dynamic chapters of Spain’s exports to Qatar. Since 2012 agro-food sector export from Spain to Qatar had an annual growth rate of 40 percent in 2013,” said Fajardo.
“Our agro-food sector is growing faster than the rest of the chapters of our exports. Last year, our agro-export to Qatar grew by 63 percent compared to 2016 and in the first eight months of 2018 the growth rate is around 49 percent, breaking all records,” he said.
The main categories of agro products Spain is exporting to Qatar which are currently available in the market include meat products, fruits, and vegetables, beverage and oils, as well as animal feed which had seen huge growth because of Qatar’s strategy to bring livestock to the country, explained Fajardo.
“I think Spain is meeting the demand for new products here from the agro sector. We are very much competitive in terms of prices and quality in response to the standards demanded by the Qatari market,” he said.
“There has been an increasing demand for Spanish products especially after the blockade and I feel happy we are contributing to the development of the country bringing the products needed in Qatar,” he added.
Fajardo believed the 36 percent increase in bilateral trade between Qatar and Spain last year compared to 2016 is expected to receive further boost this year and even next year as the number of Spanish exporters increases along with the frequency of export.
Fajardo was speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the press conference on Tuesday to announce the fourth edition of Hospitality Qatar in which Spain is participating bringing in companies engaged in the agro-food sector.
“It is interesting that the agro sector which we are bringing here in the Spanish pavilion at Hospitality Qatar is very much representative of what is happening in our bilateral relations,” he said, adding seven Spanish firms are taking part in the event offering meat, olive, vegetables, and other products that are presently in demand in the Qatari market.
He mentioned some ongoing efforts to promote Spanish agro-food products and gastronomy in Qatar. “This weekend we are bringing some Spanish chefs, one of them with 2-Star Michelin which is the highest level of recognition awarded to a chef, at the Spanish Extravaganza in W Doha Hotel,” he said.