The Chairman of the Pakistan Board of Investment (BOI) Haroon Sharif said that his country has presented 30 government projects and investment opportunities worth $10bn during his visit to Qatar.
These projects include a number of sectors such as hotels and resorts, power plants, large listed companies, educational institutions and others.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), Sharif said that Pakistan and Qatar are moving quickly to complete important deals this year, including that both sides have identified mutually beneficial sectors and are moving towards specific deals, while predicting a promising future of cooperation between the two sides.
The two countries are expected to sign three or five Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) over the next three months, especially in the energy sector, as well as projects in the hospitality sector, which will be the beginning of further confidence between the two sides.
Sharif said that this is his second visit Qatar in two months and that he is accompanied by a delegation of business leaders from Pakistan. He added that he held fruitful meetings with a number of officials in Qatar and discussed mutual investments between the two sides, saying that Pakistani businessmen expressed interest in investing in Qatar and pointed out that there is great interest in expanding economic relations, especially in the field of mutual investments.
According to Sharif, Qatari investments in Pakistan are concentrated in the financial and insurance sectors, such as Islamic banks and contributions to some real estate projects. He noted that there’s been no investment on a large scale yet, and therefore he will create files for Qataris to consider the variety of opportunities they could choose.
Pakistan’s exports to Qatar following the blockade have gradually improved. According to latest figures in the aftermath of the blockade in the Gulf Pakistan’s exports have increased to the tune of $89.898m during the Fiscal Year July 2017 to June 2018. During the same period in the year July 2016 to June 2017 this amount was $52.719m. There was thus an increase of 70.53 percent of Pakistani exports to Qatar.
The chairman added that during the current financial year 2018-19, the increased trend has solidified further, with an increase of 23 percent in the period from July 2018 to December 2018 against the same period in the preceding financial year. This significant increase in exports from Pakistan is attributed to the opening of the Qatari food market as Qatar strives to be self-sufficient and seeks proactively for alternate sources of imports to Qatar. The trend is on the rise and Pakistani companies sense a lot of opportunities in the Qatari market.
He added, “Our imports from Qatar have also crossed the billion dollar mark and from period July 2017 to June 2018. Qatari exports to Pakistan stood at $1.58bn, an increase of 37.70 percent compared to $1.14bn during the same period July 2016 to June 2017.
Imports during the current year have also significantly grown by a massive 76 percent owing to rising demand for LNG. Balance of trade between the two countries therefore has been in favor of Qatar due to Pakistan’s imports of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and petrochemical products. Qatar-Pakistan LNG agreement in February 2016 widened the trade balance.”
Source from: The Peninsula