ISLAMABAD - Ambassador of Qatar Saqr Bin Mubarak Al-Mansouri Tuesday said that his country was interested to build two power plants in Pakistan for which initial studies were in progress.

He said Qatari and Chinese companies were already working on four coal-based power plants in Pakistan and construction of two power plants by Qatar would go a long way in reducing Pakistan’s energy problem.

He expressed these views during an interaction with business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said Qatar was giving priority to Pakistan for promoting trade and economic relations and signing of LNG deal between Pakistan and Qatar was a positive development to bring the two countries even closer. He said next meeting of Qatar-Pakistan Joint Ministerial Committee will be held in Pakistan this year which would be a good forum to discuss new areas of mutual cooperation. He said over 112000 Pakistanis were working in Qatar and making useful contribution to its economic development. He said Qatar planned to import more manpower from Pakistan for its various ongoing projects.

He said exchange of trade delegations was an effective tool to explore new areas of trade promotion. He said Qatar was already importing many Pakistani products including rice, medical equipment, medicines, sports goods, dry fruits, leather products, fish etc, adding that his country was interested to import more products from Pakistan. He said Qatar allowed 100% foreign investment in specific sectors and Pakistani investors should take benefit of such incentives. He said both countries have good potential to enhance cooperation in many fields and his Embassy was ready to cooperate with Pakistani entrepreneurs in finding out business prospects in his country.

In his welcome address, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President ICCI, said that bilateral trade of less than $300 million between Pakistan and Qatar was much below their real potential and stressed that both countries should facilitate private sectors in improving two-way trade. He said ICCI was interested to sign MoU with Qatar Chamber of Commerce to improve business linkages between the two countries and Qatari embassy should cooperate in realizing this objective.

He said Pakistan’s economy offered huge investment opportunities in energy, infrastructure, construction & other sectors and Qatar Investment Authority should be encouraged to explore Pakistan for joint ventures and investment. He said both countries should strengthen cooperation in energy, trade, investment and manpower sectors.

He said due to FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar was to initiate more construction projects and it should prefer to import more manpower from Pakistan which would help in reducing unemployment in our country. He said ICCI would consider taking a delegation to Qatar and embassy should cooperate in making its visit successful.