H.E. Mr. Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry and H.E. Mr. Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Commerce and Investment, co-chaired the Pakistan- Qatar Trade and Investment Conference held in Doha under the patronage of the Qatar Financial Centre.
The conference was organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Pakistan and the Pakistan Professionals Forum in Qatar.
In his opening remarks, H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry underscored the momentum that the Qatari-Pakistani relations have gained over the past decade as evidenced by the significant increase in Qatari-Pakistani bilateral trade, which grew by 233% to around $2.6 billion in 2018 compared to $782 million in 2016.
In this context, H.E. said bilateral trade could be further bolstered through the activation of a number of existing Qatari-Pakistani agreements that have been designed to promote investment and trade relations. These agreements include an economic and technical cooperation agreement signed in 1984 and another agreement on the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments dating back to 1999, H.E. noted.
Touching on joint investments, H.E. said around 1488 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. Qatar is also home to seven companies fully owned by Pakistani citizens, H.E. added.
Elaborating on the country’s business environment, H.E. said Qatar has successfully cemented its position as one of the region’s most stable, competitive and diversified economies as evidenced by the rising contribution of non-oil sectors to GDP, which reached around 52% in 2017.
Along the same lines, Qatar has fast tracked the implementation of measures aimed at attracting foreign direct investment, H.E. said, inviting Pakistani investors to explore the promising opportunities that Qatar offers, particularly in terms of investment projects being undertaken within the framework of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In his concluding remarks, H.E. expressed hope that the conference will lay the foundations of successful investment partnerships between the Qatari and Pakistani private sectors in the industrial and agricultural sectors among other industries in a bid to promote self-sufficiency and food security which will serve the shared objectives and interests of both countries.
The Pakistani delegation included H.E Mr. Syed Ahsan Raza, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Qatar, and H.E. Mr. Haroon Sharif, Chairman of Pakistan’s Board of Investments, along with a large number of businessmen, officials, decision makers and investors.
The conference featured panel discussions by Qatari officials on the characteristics of Qatar’s business environment and investment opportunities in various promising economic sectors including logistics, Fintech, media, sports, fertilizers, chemicals and free zones.
Mr. Yousif Mohamed Al Jaidah, CEO of Qatar Financial Centre, also shed light on the new emerging belt initiative.
Members of the Pakistani delegation, on the other hand, elaborated on Pakistan’s business environment and investment opportunities in a number of promising sectors including tourism, hospitality, logistics, food, agriculture and advanced technology.
The conference featured a Q&A session during which senior Pakistani executives expressed interest in bolstering their investments in Qatar and establishing new projects.
The conference featured bilateral meetings between Qatari and Pakistani businessmen, during which they reviewed investment opportunities in both countries and discussed efforts to build long-term economic cooperation mechanisms.
The conference falls in line with efforts to expand trade, investment and industrial cooperation and engage the Qatari and Pakistani private sectors to establish joint investment projects to the benefit of both countries.