DOHA: The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority CEO Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida said yesterday that the QFC is committed to supporting Qatar’s growth and development as it is a key part of its mandate to contribute to Qatar’s increasing economic diversification. QFC’s recently announced new strategy, which includes a renewed focus on specific industry clusters such as sports, digital, media, and financial services, as well as targeting key markets in the New Emerging Belt Initiative, or NEBI, was to achieve these goals, Al Jaida said.
Delivering the keynote speech at Qatar-Pakistan Investment Conference here, the QFC Authority CEO noted that with a combined value of over $2 trillion, the NEBI markets offer an unrivalled opportunity for businesses, and include Kuwait, Oman, India, Turkey and of course, Pakistan.
He said Pakistani businesses are of course in an excellent position to take advantage of these benefits. The QFC has already made great strides in attracting business from Pakistan, as Qatar is now home to 8 Pakistani companies and look forward to welcoming even more to the QFC platform.
The relations between Qatar and Pakistan extend far beyond the realm of trade. Indeed, Qatar and Pakistan enjoy extensive and deep-rooted political relations too, which is exemplified by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Doha earlier this year.
The Pakistani business community is incredibly active and engaged in Qatar. In fact, the Pakistan Business Forum Doha, which is registered on the Qatar Financial Centre’s Platform, hosted a successful conference in April last year to promote investment and trade. “So it is clear then, that there exists significant potential for growth in this valued partnership with Pakistan, which is why this conference is of vital importance and I am confident will lead to even greater cooperation in the future”, he said.
Al Jaida said that Pakistan is the 13th largest trading partner in terms of trade with Qatar. The total value of bilateral trade between them reached $1.6bn in 2017. The two sides also signed a $16bn deal to provide Pakistan with LNG until 2030. Al Jaida said that all these indicators reflected the strength of ties between the two countries.
He pointed out that Pakistan is one of the best promising economies in the region with its geographical location and a consumer market exceeding 200 million people, highlighting with its central location in the heart of Asia, and the access it has to all the world’s crop markets.
He added his country has adopted liberal and attractive investment policies to enhance investments based on its strategic location including the equal treatment of foreign investment, and the repatriation of profits among others.