ISLAMABAD: In the wake of strained relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Doha’s high-powered trade delegation has visited Pakistan last week for exploring opportunities for importing meat including beef and mutton, chicken, rice and dairy products worth over a billion dollar.
Qatar is a rich country having potential to import over a billion dollar food items from Pakistan. “In the upcoming Special Economic Zones (SEZs) which will be established with the help of China, proposals are under consideration to establish modernised farm houses with the purpose to boost exports of live animals as well as of both beef and mutton manifold in years ahead,” said the official sources.
Earlier, Qatar used to import major chunk of food items from Saudi Arabia but after strained relationship with Gulf States now Qatar is exploring new markets to import food items and Pakistan can become potential player in this regard in weeks and months ahead.
Qatar is the 38th largest export economy in the world as in 2015, their exports stood at $79.9 billion while imports were $34.7 billion, resulting in a positive trade balance of $45.2 billion. In 2015 the GDP of Qatar was $164 billion.
The top exports of Qatar are Petroleum Gas($44.3B), Crude Petroleum ($17.3B), Refined Petroleum ($6.47B), Ethylene Polymers($2.26B) and Nitrogenous Fertilizers ($1.22B), using the 1992 revision of the HS (Harmonized System) classification.
Its top imports are Cars($2.87B), Planes, Helicopters, and/or Spacecraft ($2.6B), Gas Turbines ($1.09B),Aircraft Parts ($1.04B) and Jewellery ($970M).
The top import origins are China ($3.51B), France ($3.23B), the United Kingdom ($3.08B), the United States ($2.96B) and the United Arab Emirates ($2.76B).
Qatar borders Saudi Arabia by land and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Iran by sea. In 2015, Qatar imported $34.7 billion worth of products making it the 58th largest importer in the world. During the last five years, the imports of Qatar have increased at rate of 8.5 percent increased from $22.8 billion in 2010 to $37.7 billion in 2015.
The recent imports are led by cars, which represents 8.27 percent of total imports of Qatar, followed by planes and then other items.
President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Zubair Tufail on Monday confirmed to this paper that Qatar’s trade delegation paid visit to Pakistan last week for exploring trade opportunities and they were interested in importing food items.
“We have helped them to establish contacts with major business houses involved in food items’ export from Pakistan and it is expected that exporters could get their potential shares in months and years ahead,” he concluded.