The recent visit of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will go a long way in the promotion of bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Qatar, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Engineer Daroo Khan Achakzai said on Tuesday.
“The emir’s visit will open new opportunities to enhance bilateral trade and economic cooperation,” he stated, adding that the economic partnership between Pakistan and Qatar was expanding with the passage of time and had now reached $9 billion, including $3 billion as cash deposits in the State Bank of Pakistan, $3 billion as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and $3 billion for projects that would help Pakistan avert the prevent economic crisis.
Commenting on the trade relations, he said that at present, the volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Qatar stood at $2.4 billion, which was in favour of Qatar owing to the bulk import of LNG in the last two years.
“Pakistan has considered Qatar as one of its major export destinations and a lucrative market where the volume of traditional exports such as textiles, fruits, carpets, footwear, sports goods, leather, furniture and surgical instruments can be increased through aggressive marketing and close interaction between the business communities and private sectors,” he maintained.
Achakzai urged the government to materialise the agreement that was signed earlier this year with regard to sending 100,000 Pakistani workers to Qatar for blue collar jobs.
He stated that there existed a vast potential for bilateral cooperation in agriculture, banking, aviation, finance, insurance, information technology, tourism, education, science etc. since both countries had signed and enforced the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and Double Taxation Treaty (DTT) agreements in 2009.
The FPCCI president revealed that the chamber would soon hold a meeting with its Qatari counterpart to discuss future economic activities between the private sectors of both countries.
“FPCCI will also invite its Qatari counterpart in the board of directors meeting of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA), which will be held in November this year,” he concluded.