Within the framework of the good relations between the two brotherly countries, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif started an official visit to the country.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will receive the Pakistani prime minister to discuss bilateral relations and aspects of developing and strengthening them, in addition to several regional and international issues of common interest.
It is expected that the visit and the discussions that will take place during it will contribute to supporting and enhancing bilateral relations and developing them in many fields and sectors to serve the common interests of the two countries and their brotherly peoples.
Qatar and Pakistan have close and prosperous historical relations based on mutual trust and respect.
These wide-ranging and multifaceted relations cover various fields, and there is permanent co-ordination between them within the framework of international forums and meetings.
Qatar and Pakistan are bound by common visions and goals regarding the principles of peace, security and stability in the world. Pakistan has supported the Qatari mediation efforts in Afghanistan, and the two countries have a common vision for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
Relations between the two countries have been strengthened through mutual visits at the highest levels, the most prominent of which was in recent years, the two visits of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Pakistan in March 2015 and June 2019, and three visits to Doha paid by the former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan: two in 2019 and a third in February 2020.
The Qatari-Pakistani relations are regulated by a set of signed agreements and memorandums of understanding covering the political, economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, technical, educational, health, security, legal, educational, and media sectors, as well as areas of youth, sports, endowments, Islamic affairs, tourism, meteorology, mutual protection of investments, avoidance of double taxation, organising exhibitions, regulating the use of the workforce in Qatar, and a memorandum of understanding for co-operation in the field of exchanging financial investigations related to money laundering and related original crime as well as terrorist financing.
Qatari-Pakistani relations have gone through three main stages: the first started with the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1973 and until 1999, during which the two countries worked to explore possibilities and opportunities for co-operation between them in various fields.
The visit of His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to Pakistan in 1999 marked the beginning of the second phase of bilateral relations, as it laid the foundations that strengthened and developed the ties between the two countries over time. During that visit, agreements covering areas of economic and political co-operation served as a new era of relations between Doha and Islamabad.
As for the third phase, it started with the visit of His Highness the Amir to Pakistan in 2015.
It was a successful and fruitful visit that led to the strengthening and development of bilateral relations and their transfer to various new horizons, especially in the field of economy and energy.
The Qatari-Pakistani relations are currently going through their best stages, since the last visit of His Highness the Amir to Islamabad in 2019, which is viewed as the culmination of an exceptional and distinguished stage during the bilateral relations. This visit gave bilateral relations a new impetus with the signing of several agreements to support and enhance the existing co-operation in all fields, especially economic, political, social, and military areas sectors.
Following this visit, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani issued a directive to support the Pakistani economy with $3bn in the form of deposits and direct investments, confirming the strength of bilateral relations and expressing the confidence of Qatar in the strength and power of the economy of Pakistan.
In 2015, His Highness the Amir issued directives to raise the number of the Pakistani workforce in Qatar, when it was announced that 100,000 Pakistani workers would be recruited to for infrastructure projects that are taking place in the country as part of the preparations for hosting the 2022 World Cup and other projects.
In a major turning point in the course of the economic partnership between the two countries, Qatar Petroleum signed in February 2021 a long-term 10-year agreement with the Pakistan State Oil Company to supply Pakistan with up to 3mn tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas.
The agreement is the second of its kind between the two sides.
In 2016, Qatargas signed a long-term agreement to supply liquefied natural gas to the Pakistan State Oil Company, according to which it will supply 3.75mn tonnes annually of LNG, raising the total supply to 6.75mn tonnes annually.
In the context of the development of economic relations between the two countries, the direct shipping line between them, which was inaugurated in 2017 to connect Hamad Port with Karachi Port, contributed to the increase in the volume of trade exchange between the two countries, which grew by 63% to reach about QR9.5bn in 2018, compared to QR5.8bn in 2017. This makes Pakistan one of the most important trading partners of Qatar, and about 1,400 joint companies are operating in the Qatari market in various fields.
Qatar also hosts seven companies with 100% Pakistani capital.
Pakistan is an attractive investment destination, especially in banking, insurance, tourism, information and communication technology, oil and gas, energy, and agriculture.
To benefit from the economic corridor projects between Pakistan and China by investing in them,
there are many Qatari investments in Pakistan in important sectors such as agriculture, information, and communication technology and the financial sector, insurance, and real estate, along with others.
Pakistan exports to Qatar many products such as rice, leather, yarn and textiles, cotton, textiles, and meat, and imports from Qatar oil, gas, plastics, organic chemicals, and iron.
Pakistan is the largest beneficiary of Qatar's initiative to educate 10mn out-of-school children around the world, as Qatar supported the Federal Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to launch a programme to educate 1mn out-of-school children in Pakistan, under an agreement signed in 2018.
The Lives and Livelihoods Fund, which was chaired by the Qatar Fund for Development during 2019-2020, financed the project "supportive of the National Programme for Polio Eradication for the period 2019-2022", which aims to help the Pakistani government improve the situation of 39.2mn children under five years of age.
The area of Pakistan is 881,913sq km, and its population exceeds 220mn people.
The economy of Pakistan occupies the 24th place as the largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power, and the forty-second place in terms of the volume of GDP, as its exports in 2020 amounted to about $23bn.
It is expected that Pakistan will become among the top 20 economies in the world by 2030 and with the emergence of huge projects, including the economic corridor between China and Pakistan and the port of Gwadar, Pakistani trade is targeting a future volume of $350bn.
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