The visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Pakistan opens new horizons of cooperation in the fields of economy, investment and trade, Pakistan's Ambassador Syed Ahsan Raza Shah, Saturday said adding that the visit also promotes bilateral relations in all fields.
In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), the ambassador said Qatar and Pakistan enjoy friendly and fraternal relations based on common destiny, heritage, trust and mutual respect, stressing that the people of Pakistan view the Qatari leadership with great appreciation in the light of the mutual and continuous support between the two friendly countries, and the contribution of Pakistani manpower to the progress and development of Qatar.
The Pakistani ambassador stressed the continuous interdependence between the two friendly countries through institutional mechanisms such as bilateral political consultations and the joint ministerial committee, highlighting that the current visit of the Amir to Pakistan may witness the signing of a number of MoUs in the areas of investment, tourism and cooperation in the field of combating money laundering. "Trade will as well be part of bilateral talks."
He noted that Pakistan's exports have improved gradually following the blockade imposed on Qatar in June 2017. Pakistan's exports of goods increased to $90mn during the period from July 2017 to June 2018, compared to $52mn for the same period in 2016.
Over the past year, special efforts have been made to boost Pakistan's exports of services to Qatar, he said explaining that from 1 July 2018 to 30 April 2019 Pakistan's exports of goods and services amounted to $146.457mn compared to $96.138mn in the corresponding period of the previous year,, which represents an increase of 52.34%.
He pointed out that Pakistan's imports from Qatar in the period July 2018 to April 2019 amounted to $1.556bn compared to $998.53mn in the corresponding period of the previous year, which represents a growth of 55.84%. He stressed that the balance of trade is still in favour of Qatar because of Pakistan's increasing imports of liquefied natural gas and petroleum products.
The envoy attributed the increase in Pakistan's exports to the expansion of the food, construction and Fintech in Qatar which seeks self-sufficiency and proactively seeks alternative sources of imports of goods and services. He pointed out that the cooperation in these areas is on the rise and Pakistani companies are having lots of opportunities in the Qatari market.
There are about 700 to 800 Qatari-Pakistani companies working in infrastructure development in Qatar, he said and noted the link between Hamad Port and Karachi Port.
On opportunities for Qatari investments in Pakistan, the ambassador identified power generation, hospitality, real estate , petrochemical and strategic industries as the most important sectors.