Qatar announces $3 billion in deposits, direct investment

Qatar on Monday announced a $3 billion direct investment package for Pakistan. Talking to the state-run Qatari News Agency (QNA), Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said the Qatari support came after Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani’s visit to Pakistan to underscore the deep relations between the two brotherly countries and people.

“Upon the directives of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani announced new investments in the form of deposits and direct investments in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan worth a total of $3 billion,” the press release stated.

“The investment expresses the confidence of the State of Qatar in the strength of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s economy and the vision and good management of the current government headed by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan,” the statement quoted Abdulrahman Al-Thani as saying.

“The Qatari-Pakistani economic partnership will amount to $9 billion. Qatar affirms its aspiration for further development in the relations between the two countries at all political, economic, sports and cultural levels,” Abdulrahman Al-Thani said.

The announcement of Qatari investment came after Pakistan visit of Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al-Thani. During the visit, Pakistan and Qatar signed several memoranda of understanding for trade and investment, tourism and cooperation in other fields.

“Qatar is making $3 billion dollars worth of new investments in Pakistan, in the form of deposits and direct investments,” said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Monday. Dr Awan, while talking to the media, thanked the Qatari Emir and his cabinet for the announcement, said Radio Pakistan. She said that this amount would help Pakistan overcome its economic challenges, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s announcement to grant visa on arrival for Qatari citizens will develop tourism sector in Pakistan. She also hailed Qatar lifting the ban on Pakistani rice, saying it was good news for rice exporters and the economy of the country, Radio Pakistan reported.

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Abdul Hafeez Sheikh also thanked Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani for pledging US $3 billion in Pakistan’s deposits and direct investment. “[I] want to thank the Emir of Qatar HRH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani for announcing US $3 Billion in #deposits and direct #investments for #Pakistan and for #Qatar’s affirmation to further develop relations between the two countries,” he tweeted.

Saudi Arabia had earlier provided Pakistan a $3 billion loan and a similar amount every year in oil supply on deferred payments. Another Gulf state, the United Arab Emirates had also announced a $3 billion loan package for the country. China had given $4.6 billion in shape of deposits and commercial loans. In total, the four countries have pledged to provide nearly $16 billion to Pakistan.

Pakistan also reached an agreement in principle with the International Monetary Fund for $6 billion bailout package for three years, aimed at shoring up its public finances and strengthening a slowing economy. Finance Ministry officials said that UAE withheld release of the last tranche of $1 billion after Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Qatar early this year.

The terms of the Qatari financial assistance have not been shared by the Finance Ministry. The Chinese government has provided deposit of $2 billion at around 1 per cent interest rate and $2.6 billion at around 5.5 per cent interest rate. The Saudi and UAE loans have been received at over 3.2 per cent interest rates.

During the visit of Qatari Emir, Pakistan and Qatar had also signed the three memoranda of understanding (MoU). They signed an MoU on the establishment of Pakistan and Qatar Joint Working Group (JWG) on trade and investment signed by Qatar Finance Minister Ali Shareef Al Emadi and Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood.

The MoU for cooperation in the field of tourism and business events between Qatar and Pakistan signed by Secretary General of Qatar National Tourism Council Akbar Al Baker and Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza.

The MoU on the establishment of cooperation in the field of exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering associated predicate offences and terrorism financing between Qatar’s Financial Information Unit and Pakistan’s Financial Monitoring Unit. This was signed by Head of Qatar Financial Information Unit Sheikh Ahmed bin Eid Al Thani and Acting DG Financial Monitoring Unit Muneer Ahmad.

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