ISLAMABAD: On the arrival of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani in Islamabad on 22 June 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of “Pakistan-Qatar working group (JWG) on trade and investment was signed between Commerce Ministry of Pakistan and its counterpart, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Qatar.
The Prime Minister’s Advisor on Commerce, Textile, Industries & production and Investment Mr.Abdul Razak Dawood inked the MoU with his Qatari counterpart, a government press release said.
The MoU aims to devise a mechanism to improve trade and economic ties of both countries which are currently far below than its potential. Through this MoU ,now a special and dedicated Working Group will be established to expand the trade and investment cooperation, strengthen communication and enhance trust to boost economic growth by creating enabling environment.
The working group will identify the bottlenecks that are holding the growth of bilateral trade and investment ties and it is mandated to take measure to unlock the growth. The Working Group on the Pakistan side will be headed by Secretary Commerce Ministry of Commerce & Textiles (Commerce Division),Pakistan with the representatives from other relevant Ministries/Departments including Board of Investment as its members. From Qatari side, Head of Ministry of Commerce and Industry will be leading the Working group.
Previously, due to lack of an effective and mandated formal mechanism, it was comparatively difficult to address bilateral trade issues in an efficient and mutually fruitful manner.
The establishment of the working group was required to take up and resolve the bilateral issues on a dedicated and relevant forum.
While signing the MoU both countries resolved to extend the cooperation in trade and investment and emphasized to discuss and consult trade, investment and their related issues i.e. summarize experience on regular basis and discover and work in a timely manner to solve concerns and difficulties faced by Pakistani and Qatari businesses in both countries; exchange information on a regular basis about trade and investment projects and exhibitions; promote key projects of trade and economic cooperation; hold seminars on trade and investment cooperation in Islamabad and Doha; organize exchanges of trade missions and help companies seek business opportunities.
Pakistan has witnessed a visible increase in its exports to Qatar in recent times.
The significant increase in exports from Pakistan is attributed to the opening of the Qatari food market, construction and FINTECH sectors as Qatar strives to be self-sufficient and seeks proactively for alternate sources of imports of goods and services to Qatar. The trend is on the rise and Pakistani companies sense a lot of opportunities in the Qatari market.
Pakistan has a distinct advantage of proximity to Qatar and can easily cater for Qatar’s food security needs.
Consequently, Pakistan’s exports to Qatar are on the rise. Ministry of Commerce, Pakistan is especially working on capitalising on FIFA World Cup 2022, which offers huge export opportunity for Pakistani football manufacturers and exporters.
Moreover, Qatar is expecting 2.9 million fans to attend 2022 FIFA event. It shows there will be phenomenon demands of replica soccer balls that tourists may carry as gift items