Pakistan pharma companies to set up plants in Qatar

 15 Aug 2017 - 2:22

Pakistan pharma companies to set up plants in Qatar
FPCCI President Zubair F Tufail (second left), receiving a memento from Qatar Chamber Vice-Chairman Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari (centre) along with Pakistan Ambassador Shahzad Ahmad (left), Al Darwish United Group Chairman Yousuf bin Jassim Al Darwish (second right) and OITC Group Managing Director Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Obaidly (right) in Doha, yesterday. Pic: Kammutty VP / The Peninsula

By Mohammad Shoeb / The Peninsula

Two top Pakistani pharmaceutical companies, including Martin Dow Pharmaceuticals, are set to begin manufacturing drugs in Qatar within a year, said the head of a visiting trade delegation from South Asia.

Martin Dow is a leading drug manufacturing company in Pakistan which also owns 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.

Zubair, while talking on the sidelines of the first meeting of Qatar-Pakistan Joint Business Council, 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.” A 12-member trade delegation consisting of top business leaders from a wide-range of industries, including food and agriculture, textiles, chemicals, education and Islamic finace, concluded their two-day visit to Doha yesterday.

Top business executives from Pakistan were here to explore business and investment opportunities. Several of them have established partnership with local companies and individual investors to boost the cooperation. 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.

To offset the impact of the ongoing blockade, Qatar has been working aggressively to enhance 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.

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. A trade delegation from Qatar is also expected to visit to 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.

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