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January 23, 2019

Qatar, Pakistan explore ties in food security, manufacturing

Top Story

January 23, 2019

DOHA: 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 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, Gulf Times reported.

Qatar Chamber officials led by its chairman, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani, held a high-level meeting with Khan at a local hotel. “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.

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 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.

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 percent growth to reach $1.6 bn in 2017 from $782m recorded in 2016. In the first nine months of 2018, trade figures reflected a 12.5 percent growth and stood at $1.8b, 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.