Search

A visit by the emir of Qatar

The visit by Qatar’s ruler, Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is welcome news as it promises to open new avenues of trade, investment and economic cooperation between the two countries. Three memoranda of understanding were signed on trade, investment and cooperation on financial intelligence and tourism during the visit. The MoUs envisage the establishment of a Pakistan-Qatar Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment, cooperation in the field of tourism and business events and cooperation and exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering and terrorism financing. The MoU regarding cooperation in the exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering, associated offences and terrorism financing, signed between financial information units could help Pakistan gain more supporters in its efforts to get off the Financial Action Task Force grey list. Given their passion for sports, it was perhaps natural that the emir presented the prime minister a jersey of Qatar’s national football team and the prime minister presented him a cricket bat carrying his signature.
A large number of Pakistani workers have been in Qatar for decades. Pakistan and Qatar enjoy cordial relations but the ties can attain new heights through institutional mechanisms like political consultation and joint ministerial committees. Pakistan struck a fine balance when Saudi Arabia and some other Gulf countries imposed an economic blockade on Qatar in June 2017, helping Qatar meet its requirements in food and services sectors. According to Pakistan’s ambassador to Qatar, exports to Qatar rose to $90 million during the period from July 2017 to June 2018, compared to $52 million for the same period in 2016. The previous year, however, saw an overwhelming increase in export of services to Qatar. Between July 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019, exports of goods and services amounted to $146.457 million compared to $96.138 million in the corresponding period the previous year. 700 to 800 Qatari-Pakistani companies are working in infrastructure development in Qatar. To Pakistan, Qatar’s best gift has been a liquefied natural gas contract to help it meet its energy requirements.
Apart from trade, the visit hold special importance in view of its timing. The Gulf region is rife with tensions as United States and Iran trade barbs. Qatar and Pakistan can help both sides avoid a dangerous escalation. Pakistan should play its role to bring Qatar and Saudi Arabia closer.



--!>

PM resolves to facilitate trade with Afghanistan

--!>