The bilateral trade volume between Qatar and Pakistan witnessed a remarkable tripled digit-growth last year compared to previous year. The two-way trade exchange between the two friendly nations jumped by 104 percent to about QR5.83bn ($1.6bn) in 2017 from QR2.84bn ($782m) in 2016.
The bilateral trade volume is set to witness a further jump in the coming years as both the countries are working in close cooperation to further strengthen and deep economic cooperation in several promising areas.
The figures were released on the occasion of the visit of a high-level trade mission, led by Minister of Economy and Commerce H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, met the Pakistani counterparts to discuss the ways of expanding cooperation.
The Minister of Economy and Commerce chaired the Qatari delegation at the Qatari-Pakistani Business Conference that took place yesterday in Islamabad within the framework of a Qatari delegation’s visit to Pakistan (from July 4-5, 2018) to discuss bilateral cooperation prospects.
Mian Misbah Al Rehman, Pakistan’s Minister of Trade and Textile, led the participating Pakistani delegation including a number of senior government officials.
The event brought together businessmen and chief executives of major Qatari and Pakistani companies in the fields of food and consumer products, building materials, Trade along with other sectors. In his opening speech, Sheikh Ahmed highlighted that the friendly relations between Qatar and Pakistan have been growing over the past decade, noting that these relations have picked up considerable momentum since 2012, ranking Pakistan as Qatar’s 13th largest trade partner.
The Minister hoped that cooperation in bilateral trade would be strengthened, noting that food products and consumers goods account for almost 50 percent of Qatari imports from Pakistan and 1.1 percent of Qatar’s food imports worldwide.
The Minister also highlighted joint investments, noting 851 companies, jointly owned by Qatari and Pakistani citizens, are currently operating in Qatar in the fields of energy, contracting, plastic industries and the leasing of heavy equipment.
Six other companies fully owned by Pakistani citizens are also operating in the banking, hotel services, contracting and engineering fields, he added.
Sheikh Ahmed stressed that Qatar and Pakistan are looking to capitalize on these growing relations to the benefit of both countries.
The Minister added that this gathering of Qatari and Pakistani businessmen will pave the way for agreements aimed at bolstering bilateral trade with discussions focusing on the quality and price of commodities to streamline the flow of exports from Pakistan to Qatar.
Touching on Qatar’s economic characteristics, he noted that this conference comes at a time of global economic uncertainties and regional challenges coupled with an illegal blockade that was imposed on Qatar since June 5th, 2017.
The blockade, which was aimed at undermining Qatar’s position as an economically independent and sovereign state, has, however, failed, he said, noting that Qatar has emerged stronger and more economically independent than ever before.
The illegal blockade has also presented an opportunity for Qatar to make its economy more accessible to the world, He emphasized, noting that the country has strengthened its trade relations worldwide. The Minister of Economy and Commerce added that Qatar has established new shipping routes with its trade partners worldwide including Pakistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Turkey, India, Azerbaijan and Central Asia. Through its agreements with these countries, Qatar aims to target a population of 400 million people, The Minister said, noting that Qatar is utilizing its hi-tech logistics capability and world-class facilities such as Hamad Port and Hamad International Airport to bolster trade.
The new Hamad Port accounts for 27 percent of the regional trade volume in the Middle East with an annual capacity of 7.5 million cargo containers, The Minister explained, noting on the other hand that Hamad International Airport is one of the biggest airports in the region.
The airport links Qatar to more than 150 destinations through Qatar Airways, which was recently voted as the best airline in the world, he added.
The conference featured bilateral meetings between Qatari and Pakistani businessmen during which they reviewed the investment opportunities in both Qatar and Pakistan and discussed measures to build long-term economic cooperation mechanisms.