Two top Pakistani pharmaceutical companies, including Martin Dow Pharmaceuticals, are set to open plants to begin manufacturing drugs in Qatar within a year, said the head of a visiting trade delegation from South Asia.
A leading drug manufacturing company in Pakistan, Martin Dow, also possesses two plants in France.
“We have had a very healthy discussions yesterday and today with representatives from government entities and Qatari businessmen. The results of the meetings are very fruitful and encouraging. Several cooperation agreements have been signed,” Zubair F Tufail, President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), told The Peninsula yesterday.
Tufail, further added: “Under the new cooperation agreements, two leading pharmaceutical firms are going to set up manufacturing plants in Qatar immediately with 100 percent ownership, which are expected to bring the first batch of their products within a year.”
As part of a two day business visit Doha, a 12-member trade delegation from Pakistan comprising of top business leaders from a wide-range of industries, including food and agriculture, textiles, chemicals, education and Islamic finance concluded their deals yesterday, the pharma deals being part of them. Likewise, a business delegation from Qatar will visit Pakistan to explore business and investment opportunities in sectors such as steel, textiles, telecom, real estate, food and agriculture, retails and shopping malls and others.
The delegates from Pakistan were here to explore business and investment opportunities as part of the massive economic plan in action by the Qatar government. The trade volume between Qatar and Pakistan has witnessed a record double-digit growth last year due to sharp increase in gas (LNG) imports from Qatar. The bilateral trade volume in 2016 surged to $772.61m (QR2.81bn), up 88.4 percent compared to $410.10m (QR1.49bn) in 2015.
According to data provided by Qatar Chamber, the trade balance is lopsided (since 2012) and has been in favour of Doha. Qatar’s trade surplus with Pakistan in 2016 stood at $598.6m (about QR2.18bn), up by 170.7 percent compared to $221.1m in the previous year. The total value of Qatar’s exports to Pakistan in 2016 surged to $685.6m, while imports stood at $87.01m.
Major Qatari imports from Pakistan in 2016 included vegetables, fruits, meat and other food stuffs, textiles and readymade garments among others. Qatar’s major exports to Pakistan were oils & gas, chemicals and petrochemicals, tools & equipment, lead in raw form.
Qatar has been actively trying to boost trade cooperation with India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and many other partners to diversify the sources of imports and established new trade lines with India, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran ever since the siege.
Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar) on last Saturday announced the launch of a new route between Hamad Port and the Port of Karachi in Pakistan. Hamad Port also welcomed the container vessel Libra, marking the first call of the weekly direct service. It has also launched a new maritime line between Qatar and India named “India Qatar Express Service” (IQX). The line links Hamad Port with Mundra and Nhava Sheva Ports in India.
“Until now the Qatari goods were going to Pakistan through transship via Jabel Ali port (UAE). The route has been disconnected but we can’t disconnect trade with Qatar. The new route will ensure the transportation of goods more smooth and faster,” said the president of FPCCI, who jointly presided yesterday’s meeting with Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari, Vice-Chairman, Qatar Chamber.