Friday December 08, 2023

Qatar to invest $3bn in Pakistan

By News Report
August 25, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (right) meets an official from Qatar during his two-day visit to the Gulf State in Doha in this undated photo. — Prime Ministers Office
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (right) meets an official from Qatar during his two-day visit to the Gulf State in Doha in this undated photo. — Prime Minister's Office

DOHA: Qatar’s Diwan-e-Emiri Wednesday confirmed that the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) aims to invest $3 billion in Pakistan.

“The Qatar Investment Authority announced its aspiration to invest $3 billion in various commercial and investment sectors in Pakistan,” Diwan-e-Emiri said, without giving details.

The announcement was made during a visit to Doha by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who held official talks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Wednesday after a meeting with the QIA.

“His Highness stressed the importance of the brotherly and strategic relations between the two countries and their aspiration to enhance economic partnership by raising trade exchange and promoting investments through the Qatar Investment Authority,” Diwan-e-Emiri said.

Bloomberg reported that Qatar’s $445 billion sovereign wealth fund was currently assessing the strategic investments in the key economic sectors of the South Asian nation. It added that people familiar with the matter said that the investments might be in Pakistan’s “main airports in Islamabad and Karachi, as well as in the renewable energy, power and hospitality sectors”.

The publication, citing an official, added that the QIA investments could partly overlap with the $2 billion in bilateral support Qatar has already planned for Pakistan.

“The fund may end up investing more or less than $3 billion depending on the asset valuations and opportunities, the people said, without sharing a time frame.”

It may be noted that a massive investment is likely to be made in Pakistan’s aviation sector by Doha following Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Qatar. According to reports, Qatar has expressed interest in making investments in the airport and hotel sectors.

As per reports, the federal government will hand over administrative affairs of Islamabad International Airport to Qatar, whereas, a Qatari company will provide the relevant services of the airport’s terminal and cargo.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani expressed satisfaction over the upward trajectory of bilateral relations and agreed to work together to further strengthen cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.

The two leaders, who met here at the Diwan-e-Emiri, during their extensive consultations, exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues.

The prime minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation, including cabinet ministers and senior members. Upon arrival at the Diwan-e-Emiri, the prime minister was welcomed by the Emir in an official ceremony and presented a guard of honour.

The two leaders then held delegation-level consultations, which were followed by a lunch banquet hosted by the Emir in honour of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his entourage.

The two sides agreed inter alia to strengthen institutional engagement to increase bilateral trade; deepen collaboration in the agriculture and food sectors; boost cooperation in the fields of energy; encourage and facilitate Qatar’s investments in Pakistan’s renewable energy, tourism and hospitality sectors; provide more opportunities to Pakistanis interested in working in Qatar; and expand cooperation in defence, aviation and maritime domains.

Lauding Qatar’s remarkable economic transformation, the prime minister congratulated the Qatari leadership for its visionary and forward-looking approach and wished the Qatari people more success in the future.

Recalling Pakistan’s long-term partnership with Qatar in the field of LNG cooperation, he thanked the Emir for Qatar’s vital support in meeting Pakistan’s energy needs. The two sides also explored new avenues for mutually-beneficial cooperation in the energy sector.

The prime minister stressed that the Pakistanis working and residing in Qatar are not only a source of strength for the economic progress of the two countries but also a testament to the value of people-to-people linkages. He hoped that Qatar’s rapid economic growth would present even greater opportunities for Pakistanis in the future.

The prime minister appreciated the extensive arrangements made by the government of Qatar for hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022. He assured the Qatari leadership of Pakistan’s support for the successful organisation of the mega event.

As the two leaders also exchanged views on the developments in the region, the prime minister appreciated Qatar for its long-standing and continuing efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The two sides agreed to work together to help address the grave humanitarian and economic crises confronting the Afghan people, stressing that the situation warranted the international community’s scaled up assistance.

The prime minister highlighted the grave human rights situation in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and underscored the importance of a peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute for sustainable peace, security and prosperity in South Asia.

The Emir of Qatar congratulated the prime minister on assumption of office and wished him full success. He also conveyed his best wishes for the continued progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan. The Emir reassured the prime minister of Qatar’s commitment to forge a stronger economic partnership with Pakistan.

The prime minister thanked the Emir for the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)’s readiness to invest $3 billion in various commercial and investment sectors in Pakistan. The Emir appreciated the important contribution of Pakistanis in the development of Qatar, and shared Qatar’s resolve to provide enhanced employment opportunities for Pakistanis, in line with the Qatar Vision 2030.

The two leaders agreed on the importance of frequent high-level exchanges for maintaining the present momentum in bilateral cooperation. The prime minister extended a cordial invitation to the Emir to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

The Emir of Qatar “stressed the importance of the brotherly and strategic relations between the two countries” and the need to bolster their economic partnership, an official Qatari statement said. The statement said the two leaders also discussed cooperation in “defence” and “sports”.

But it did not confirm reports that Pakistan would send troops to Qatar for security during the football World Cup that starts November 20.

Last week, the Pakistan government said it had approved a deal with Qatar on the “modalities for deployment of troops for security assistance” during the World Cup. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif met with a delegation of Qatar Business Association (QBA), led by QBA’s Chairman, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani. During the meeting, key members of the cabinet and senior officials were present. From QBA side, leading Qatari business and corporate executives joined the chairman QBA.

The prime minister reiterated that Pakistan attached high importance to its long-standing fraternal ties with Qatar, rooted deep in common history and shared aspirations for socio-economic development. The prime minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment to deepen and diversify multifaceted engagement with Qatar in order to transform the two countries’ close political relations into a robust and comprehensive economic partnership.

Lauding Qatar’s rapid economic growth and development under the visionary leadership of the Emir of Qatar, the prime minister appreciated the role played by the Qatar Business Association in invigorating Qatar’s private sector.

Emphasising the importance of building diverse economic partnerships, the prime minister highlighted the enormous business and investment opportunities offered by Pakistan’s energy including renewables, food security, industrial and infrastructure development, information technology, tourism, and hospitality sectors.

The prime minister also apprised Qatari business leaders of the rigorous structural and policy reforms being undertaken by the Government of Pakistan to improve and upgrade the business eco-system in Pakistan.

Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani recalled his longstanding association with Pakistan and expressed the association’s desire to further enhance trade relations with Pakistan. In this regard, he apprised the prime minister that he would send a representative technical level delegation of QBA to Pakistan soon to explore the avenues of cooperation. He also accepted the prime minister’s invitation to visit Pakistan along with senior members of the Association.

Commenting on the upward trajectory in Pakistan-Qatar bilateral relations, the prime minister underlined the key role of private sectors of the two countries to sustain the momentum for availing the opportunities in the business domain. He in particular stressed on building business to business linkages between the two countries.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the FIFA World Cup ‘Stadium 974’ in Doha and lauded the efforts of Qatari government in establishing state-of-the-art facilities for the upcoming sports event. Upon arrival, the prime minister was given a guided tour of the stadium and was briefed on the extensive preparations undertaken by the government of Qatar to host the FIFA World Cup 2022. He praised the grandeur of the football stadium and associated facilities, depicting the Qatari culture and identity, built in a short span of time.