Qatar to withdraw from OPEC early 2019

The decision to withdraw from OPEC came after Qatar reviewed ways to enhance its role internationally and plan its long-term strategy. (File/AFP)
Updated 03 December 2018
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Qatar to withdraw from OPEC early 2019

  • The announcement comes ahead of the meeting by OPEC and its allies including Russia on Dec. 6-7 to discuss cutting supply
  • Qatar would still attend an OPEC meeting in Vienna this week

DOHA: Qatar is withdrawing from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as of January 2019, Saad al-Kaabi, the country’s energy minister said on Monday.
The decision came after Qatar, one of OPEC’s smallest producers but the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter, reviewed ways to enhance its role internationally and plan long-term strategy, including focusing on its gas industry, he said.
“Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership form OPEC effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to OPEC this morning,” he told a news conference, adding that Qatar would still attend an OPEC meeting in Vienna this week.
The announcement comes ahead of the meeting by OPEC and its allies including Russia on Dec. 6-7 to discuss cutting supply.
The minister said the decision was not easy as Qatar has been in OPEC for 57 years, but that the country’s impact on OPEC production decisions was small.
He stressed that Doha would continue to abide by all its commitments like any other non-OPEC oil producer.
The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s intent to focus its efforts on developing its natural gas industry, the minister said, as the Gulf Arab state moves to increase LNG production from 77 million to 110 million tons annually.

On Monday, the UAE's foreign minister Anwar Gargash tweeted that the decision by Qatar to withdraw highlighted how isolated Doha had become and that he expected Qatari media to launch a smear campaign on OPEC.

 


US-China trade talks resume in Washington from Tuesday

Updated 48 sec ago
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US-China trade talks resume in Washington from Tuesday

  • The last set of talks ended Friday in Beijing with no deal
  • The next round of negotiations will commence with deputy-level meetings before moving on to principal-level talks on Thursday

WASHINGTON: US-China trade talks aimed at ending a damaging tariff war will resume from Tuesday in Washington, the White House has announced.
The last set of talks ended Friday in Beijing with no deal, though US President Donald Trump said the discussions were going “extremely well” and suggested he could extend a March 1 truce deadline for an agreement to be reached.
The next round of negotiations will commence with deputy-level meetings before moving on to principal-level talks on Thursday, a White House statement issued Monday said.
For the US, the talks will be led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, economic policy adviser Larry Kudlow, and trade adviser Peter Navarro.
China’s commerce ministry meanwhile announced it would be represented by Vice Premier Liu He, Beijing’s top trade negotiator.
On Friday, Trump re-iterated he might be willing to hold off on increasing tariffs to 25 percent from the current 10 percent on March 1 on $200 billion in Chinese goods if Washington and Beijing are close to finalizing an agreement to deal with US complaints about unfair trade and theft of American technology.
American officials accuse Beijing of seeking global industrial predominance through an array of unfair trade practices, including the “theft” of American intellectual property and massive state intervention in commodities markets.
Since a December detente, China has resumed purchases of some US soybeans and dangled massive buying of American commodities to get US trade negotiators closer to a deal.
The talks are aimed at “achieving needed structural changes in China that affect trade between the United States and China,” Monday’s statement said.
“The two sides will also discuss China’s pledge to purchase a substantial amount of goods and services from the United States.”
Beijing and Washington have imposed duties on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, which are weighing on their manufacturing sectors and have shaken global financial markets.