Dastgir seeks parity in trade balance with Qatar

Highlights energy infrastructure, rice processing as areas that have investment potential

APP May 11, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan has invited Qatari private sector to invest in Pakistan and assist in bringing parity to the trade balance, which has shifted heavily in favour of Qatar after Pakistan’s $16 billion agreement for liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchase over 15 years.

Khan was leading a 26-member delegation of Pakistani businessmen on a visit to the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Doha, said a press release.

He was received by the chamber’s vice-chairman Muhammad bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari and members of the chamber’s board.

The minister highlighted some of the economic advances Pakistan had made in recent years. He particularly cited the gross domestic product (GDP) growth, outstanding surge in the Pakistan Stock Exchange, rapidly spreading peace and security, stabilisation of public finances, imminent resolution of energy crisis and implementation of a large number of projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Khan identified energy infrastructure, rice and food processing as areas that had immense potential for absorbing investment. He asked the Qatar Chamber to encourage its government to streamline the visa process for Pakistani businessmen.

The vice-chairman of the Qatar Chamber praised the minister for bringing a delegation for business-to-business interaction with the Qatari private sector.

The board members, however, pointed to the dearth of marketing efforts by Pakistani manufacturers and producers as one of the biggest impediments in the way of increasing exports.

In the end, Khan asked the chamber to finalise names for the Pak-Qatar Joint Business Council at the earliest so that its inaugural meeting could take place.

The minister’s interaction at the Qatar Chamber was followed by business-to-business meetings between Pakistani companies and Qatari counterparts.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2017.

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