Home Middle East & Turkey Middle East Qatar reaffirms its commitment to invest in Pakistan

Qatar reaffirms its commitment to invest in Pakistan

Qatar has affirmed its commitment to Pakistan's economic and political development in a telephonic conversation between the Qatari ambassador to Pakistan, Saqr Bin Mubarak Al-Mansouri and National Assembly (NA) Speaker, Asad Qaisar, on Tuesday in Islamabad.

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Telephonic Conversation Between Al-Mansouri and Asad Qaiser

Qatari ambassador, Al-Mansouri, while talking about Qatar’s investment interests in the economic fabric of Pakistan stated, “Qatari investors are keen to take part in the economic activities in Pakistan and various agreements have been signed for investment in agriculture, power and manufacturing sectors.”

In addition to the economic investment, Al-Mansouri also affirmed Qatar’s commitment to assist Pakistan in its socio-economic development, including health, sanitation and education sectors in order to support the deprived communities of the country.

Most importantly,  there was also a discussion regarding the need to strengthen the interaction between the parliamentary affairs of both countries. Through cooperation in the parliamentary realms, it is expected that both countries will be able to cooperate with one another on systematic levels.

Qatar, a resource-rich Middle Eastern state, at present faces grave challenges as a result of the economic blockade from its neighboring Gulf States for alleged support to terrorism in 2017.

NA speaker, Asad Qaiser reaffirmed the significance of the fraternal bond based on religion, history, culture and brotherhood of both countries.

LNG – an Energy Force Binding Qatar and Pakistan

Qatar’s economic interests in Pakistan are based on long-term energy plans that have long persisted primarily since 2015. Last month, on April 1st, adviser on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood, while talking about Qatar’s interests in the agriculture, tourism, power and infrastructure sectors, had stated, “Qatar sees Pakistan as an important place for its food security and we have expressed readiness for it,”

He also confirmed the establishment of an action plan after prerequisite research on areas of interests of investment by Qatar and reinstated the flow of investment to begin in the months to follow. Dawood also confirmed a long-term additional LNG contract between Pakistan and Qatar during his press brief.

Read more: Qatar’s friendly suit: Promises to provide the UAE with its share…

Qatar, a resource-rich Middle Eastern state, at present faces grave challenges as a result of the economic blockade from its neighboring Gulf States for alleged support to terrorism in 2017. Qatar now, however, aims to sail solo in the economic realms, focusing more on autonomous control over its natural resources.

Qatar to Ride Solo in Pursuit of Diverse Economy, Post-Blockade

Qatar’s withdrawal from OPEC in January 2019 reflects one such autonomous policy over the production and exports of its natural resources. While Qatar denies the blockade being a major reason behind its OPEC withdrawal, there is significant evidence to disprove that claim. Qatar’s former premium, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, in response to Qatar’s withdrawal, tweeted that it was a wise decision to make as he believed that the “organization has become useless and adds nothing to us,..They are used only for purposes that are detrimental to our national interest.”, he voiced his opinion via  Twitter.

Qatar Petroleum, in May 2019, had called upon three groups to the tender package for the purpose of engineering, procurement, and construction work to expand its LNG storage.

Moreover, according to a source quoted by Al-Jazeera, Qatar would have stayed in OPEC if it was not for the blockade imposed on it in 2017. According to the source, “The GCC countries meet ahead of OPEC meetings to discuss their policies. It is a small group, where Qatar had a voice, Post-embargo, obviously, Qatar was shut out of that. Now, they have little opportunity to have a say. They are hardly consulted now.”, therefore, there was no intent reason for Qatar to protract its stay in the organization.

After its withdrawal from OPEC, Qatar has now focused primarily on its LNG exports. Qatar Petroleum, a semi-government energy entity, along with Exxon in February 2019, had announced construction of the Golden Pass in Texas, for the purpose of exports.

Moreover, Qatar Petroleum, in May 2019, had called upon three groups to the tender package for the purpose of “engineering, procurement, and construction work to expand its LNG storage.”

Read more: Qatar to recruit 100,000 Pakistanis for jobs: Consul General

While Pakistan has not officially chosen a side in the Qatar-GCC conflict, it has maintained cordial relations with all the Gulf and Arab states. In a statement following the blockade in 2017, the then spokesperson of Pakistan, Nafees Zakaria, while maintaining a neutral stance and reinstating Pakistan’s alliance with Qatar stated “At the moment there is nothing on the Qatar issue, (we) will issue a statement if some development takes place,”.