Qatar’s trade surplus stood at $52bn in 2018, HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari said during the Qatar-Pakistan Trade and Investment Conference held in Doha on Sunday.
The minister also announced that last year’s foreign trade witnessed a 40% growth over 2017, with exports increasing by 25% and non-oil sector contribution to GDP rising 52% in 2017.
In his speech, al-Kuwari said the World Bank expects the Qatari economy to grow by 2.7% in 2019 and a further 3% in 2020. He stressed that Qatar’s international ranking “remains high.”
He said Qatar ranked first in the Arab world and 22nd globally in the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index issued by the US-based Global Entrepreneurship Development Institute.
Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Pakistan’s advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries, and Production.
Similarly, al-Kuwari said Qatar ranked number one globally in terms of low inflation, sixth globally in lack of tax impact on competitiveness, and the eighth globally in the abundance of investment capital.
“These high rankings show the success of Qatar’s policies stated in the Second National Development Strategy 2018-2022, which focuses on supporting competitiveness of national industries and commercial sectors, where the state is setting advanced policies to attract more direct investments, promote partnership between the private and public sectors, support the productivity of private companies, and improve their contribution to the state’s self-sufficiency,” al-Kuwari said.
During the conference, al-Kuwari emphasised that “Qatar is ready” to invest in Pakistan and is open to provide a platform for Pakistani investors to use their market for business both inside and outside Qatar.
The minster also expressed his desire to further the relationship of Qatar and Pakistan in the fields of trade and investment through regular business exchanges, trade fairs, and official engagements.
Speaking before the conference, Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Pakistan’s adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries, and Production, noted that Pakistan has become “a sought after destination” for investments due to the country’s recently carved-out investor-friendly policies.
Dawood also elaborated on government policies and the lucrative incentives being provided to the foreign investors. Highlighting the recent economic stability and progressive ongoing economic activities in the wake of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said Pakistan “has emerged as an ideal market for investment.”
Pakistan Board of Investment chairman Haroon Sharif, who delivered a presentation that highlighted the potential investment areas in Pakistan, reiterated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement that “it is the best time for investment in Pakistan and the opportunity shall not be missed.