Qatar is looking at Pakistan as its “main strategic partner” in the fields of food security and food supply, a Qatar Chamber official said following a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Doha Tuesday.
Board member Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Ali al-Obaidli said the meeting, which mainly explored ways to further strengthen Qatar-Pakistan ties, also focused on plans to transform Qatar into a manufacturing and export hub in the region.
Qatar Chamber officials led by its chairman, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani, held a high-level meeting with Khan at the Four Seasons Hotel. Sheikh Khalifa was accompanied by first vice-chairman Mohamed bin Towar al-Kuwari and second vice-chairman Rashid bin Hamad al-Athba, as well as other board members and Qatari businessmen.
“We discussed points of opportunities in the private sector and how to open investment flow between Pakistan and Qatar. The meeting also discussed ways to resolve challenges in terms of supplies. And Pakistan would be the main strategic partner of Qatar in the fields of food supply and food security.
“Aside from food supply, discussions also revolved on manufacturing and exports, and how to make Qatar into an export hub in the region, as well as how to maximise the free trade agreements Qatar had forged with its international neighbours,” al-Obaidli told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting.
Also, al-Obaidli said both sides discussed co-operation ties in the banking and finance and petrochemicals sectors, as well as the exchange of trade and business delegations to be held within the year.
“We look forward to other investments, considering that Pakistan is a leader in the field of banking and finance and other sectors and how to maximise the investment opportunities offered by both countries. We also talked about the petrochemical industry to address Pakistan’s need for the raw materials that Qatar could provide,” he said.
In a media statement, Sheikh Khalifa said the chamber is keen to develop trade ties with Pakistan, adding that it strives to deepen relations between Qatari companies and their counterparts from Pakistan.
“There is a scope for Pakistani companies to establish joint ventures and commercial alliances with Qatari side in all sectors, especially in food and agriculture…Qatar Chamber welcomes Pakistani firms to participate in the projects that are being implemented in Qatar. It also encourages businessmen from both sides to establish partnerships that serve both economies,” Sheikh Khalifa said.
He said there are 1,250 Qatar-Pakistan joint companies operating in different sectors in the country as of December 2018. Trade volume between the two countries witnessed a 100% growth to reach $1.6bn in 2017 from $782mn recorded in 2016. In the first nine months of 2018, trade figures reflected a 12.5% growth and stood at $1.8bn, Sheikh Khalifa also said.
“This significantly reflects how both countries’ relations greatly developed, especially after the launch of a maritime route between Hamad Port and Pakistan’s Karachi Port, which contributed to the increase in import and export movement between the two countries,” Sheikh Khalifa added.
According to a Qatar News Agency dispatch, Khan “affirmed his country’s keenness to bolster co-operation ties with the state of Qatar in all aspects.”
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