QCOSTARICA – Opportunities for Costa Rican products in the Arabian peninsula have been announced for chutneys, organic coffee, pastries, organic tuna, dried fruits, plants, flowers and foliage, with the opening a trade promotion office in Qatar.
“We set our sights over there as a priority in the plan to diversify markets,” said the president of the Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica (Cadexco), Laura Bonilla.
“In Europe we’ve almost touched ceiling, so we need to find other markets to sell (Costa Rican) products,” added Bonilla.
In response to business, the Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) opened a trade office in Qatar. Alvaro Piedra, director of Exports at the office, said an official has been based in the premises of the Embassy of Costa Rica in that country since late last year.
Given the low volume exported to markets such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen, according to PROCOMER there is potential for foods such as chutneys, organic coffee, pastries, organic tuna and dried pineapple, as well as plants, flowers and foliage.
According to studies by the Trade Promotion Office on the Qatari market, the country has established itself as a dynamic consumer market with a growing demand for goods and ostentatious services. Qatar, like the five other wealthy Gulf states imports up to 90% of the food it consumes due to the infertility of its land.
Total consumer spending rose by 49% in real terms between 2008 and 2013, and it is expected that between 2014 and 2030 income per household will have an average annual growth of 4.8%.
Domestic exports to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen are very small. In 2015, total sales to the region was US$12.23 million, down from US$17.34 million were placed in 2012.
Sales to Central America, for example, totaled US$1.653 billion last year and Panama reached US$612 million.