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Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday left for Qatar on a two-day official visit on the invitation of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani with his economic team wherein discussion, besides other issues, will focus on export of manpower to Qatar and attracting investment. During the visit, the Prime Minister will call on the Emir of Qatar and the Prime Minister of Qatar. Besides having meetings with Qatari leadership, the Prime Minister will also meet business and investment community of Qatar and address Pakistani community during the visit, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.
Recently, Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan told a select group of media persons that various options that will be discussed with the Qatari leadership included a reduction in LNG contract from 15 to five years, supply of LNG on deferred payment and downward price revision.
The Prime minister will also ask the Qatari business community to take advantage of investment opportunities and chairman Board of Investment will apprise them of the measures being taken to facilitate investors, sources said.
"The Pakistani side may seek renegotiations on LNG agreement to get some reduction in price agreed by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) administration," sources said.
They said Prime Minister Imran Khan will also hold discussions with Qatari leadership on financial support to tackle balance of payment crisis.
They said that LNG on deferred payment will lessen the country's dependence on import of oil and reduce the import bill, ultimately helping in dealing with balance of payment challenge by narrowing trade deficit.
This would be the maiden visit of the Prime Minister to Qatar since assuming the office in August 2018.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bokhari is also accompanying the Prime Minister and would meet Pakistani workers there to know about the problems, if any, and how those could be solved.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Adviser to PM Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Advisor to Prime Minister (SAPM) Zulfikar Bukhari, Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) Haroon Sharif and Chairperson Task Force on Energy Nadeem Babar are accompanying the Prime Minister.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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