Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund aims to invest $3bn
- Announcement made during a visit to Doha by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif
DOHA: The Qatar Investment Authority aims to invest $3 billion in Pakistan, Qatar’s Emiri Diwan said on Wednesday, lending support to the South Asian nation’s cash-strapped economy.
Pakistan is in economic turmoil and faces a balance of payments crisis, with foreign reserves having dropped as low as $7.8 billion, barely enough for more than a month of imports. It is also contending with a widening current account deficit, depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar and inflation that hit more than 24% in July.
“The Qatar Investment Authority announced its aspiration to invest $3 billion in various commercial and investment sectors in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” the Emiri Diwan said, without giving details.
The announcement was made during a visit to Doha by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who held official talks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Wednesday after a meeting with the QIA on Tuesday.
“His Highness stressed the importance of the brotherly and strategic relations between the two countries and their aspiration to enhance economic partnership by raising trade exchange and promoting investments through the Qatar Investment Authority,” the Emiri Diwan said.
The prime minister’s visit to Qatar precedes an International Monetary Fund meeting next week that is expected to approve more than $1 billion in financing that has been stalled since the beginning of the year.
Sharif on Tuesday invited QIA, Qatar’s $450 billion sovereign wealth fund, to invest in Pakistan’s energy and aviation sectors.
PM in Qatar to generate trade, fetch investment
He had previously said he would highlight sectors including renewable energy, food security, industrial and infrastructure development, tourism and hospitality.
Sources close to Sharif have said he was expected to offer Qatar shares in state-owned enterprises including the loss-making Pakistan International Airlines and the Roosevelt Hotel in New York.Reuters
APP adds: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday met Amir of State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani wherein both the leaders discussed bilateral ties and ways to further strengthen the mutual cooperation.
During the meeting held at Diwan-e-Amiri, both the countries agreed to promote bilateral cooperation in multiple areas.
The prime minister was accompanied by his delegation including the cabinet members.
Earlier, as the prime minister arrived at Diwan, he was warmly welcomed by the Amir at the main entrance.
Later, the Amiri guards also presented a guard of honor to the prime minister before proceeding to hold the meeting and the delegation-level talks.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called on the father of Qatari Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and mother Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, wherein he appreciated their role and services in elevating the bilateral relationship.
The prime minister, who is on a two-day visit here, underscored the importance Pakistan attached to its longstanding and cordial relationship with Qatar, which he said was based on firm foundations of mutual trust and abiding support.
He also conveyed gratitude to Amir’s father for receiving him and his delegation.
Recalling the earlier visits of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to Pakistan in 1999 and 2017, the prime minister appreciated the role played by him in elevating the relationship between the two countries and acknowledged the robust relationship developed during his reign.
Recalling the “Education Above All (EAA)” programme under the patronage of Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the prime minister lauded her humanitarian and charitable efforts, in particular the enrolment of out-of-school children around the world including Pakistan.
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