Posted on March 10, 2019

We are very excited to join you today at the Qatar-Pakistan Investment Conference as it will undoubtedly emphasise the extensive relations that exist between our great nations. By building on these historical partnerships we can continue to ensure our joint economic prosperity well into the future.

Pakistan is in fact Qatar’s 13th largest trading partner, with bilateral trade exceeding USD $1.6 billion in 2017. Qatar is also proud to have signed a USD $16 billion deal to supply Pakistan with LNG until 2030 – a true testament to our mutual forward-thinking agreements and policies. Our relations however 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 also 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. There will certainly be many opportunities in Qatar’s economy, which is poised for continued growth despite the ongoing geopolitical challenges. Qatar’s GDP grew by 2.4% in 2018, and is expected to grow by 3.1% in 2019, according to the IMF.

Moody’s, S&P, and other international rating agencies have also upgraded their ratings of Qatar’s institutions to ‘AA’ – yet another reflection of the international communities confidence in Qatar’s economy. These are but a few of the many indicators that point to the continued economic resilience and growth of Qatar’s robust economy – which also points to the opportunities that exist in Qatar. The QFC is of course committed to supporting this growth and development as it is a key part of our mandate – to contribute to Qatar’s increasing economic diversification.

To achieve these goals, the QFC recently announced its 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. With a combined value of over USD $2 trillion, the NEBI markets offer an unrivalled opportunity for businesses, and include Kuwait, Oman, India, Turkey and of course, Pakistan. The QFC is an ideal platform to allow access to these markets. As the region’s only onshore financial centre, the QFC offers a host of unique benefits which include up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, trading in any currency, double taxation agreements with over 70 countries and many others.

It is these competitive advantages that empower businesses to focus on their growth and nothing else, to enable them to truly flourish and leverage the significant untapped markets in Qatar and beyond. 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 we are now home to 8 Pakistani companies and look forward to welcoming even more to our platform. We are confident that this conference will help strengthen these excellent relations and shed a light on the exceptional opportunities that are abundant in Qatar and the region.

Thank you