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Pakistan, Qatar to cooperate in energy, trade


Islamabad : Pakistan and Qatar have agreed to collaborate in energy, trade, agriculture and infrastructure development during Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s three-day trip that began Monday.

Gilani and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabar Al Thani Monday agreed to work together in diverse areas including energy, trade, agriculture and infrastructure development, Associated Press of Pakistan reported from Qatar.

The two leaders discussed ways to further promote trade and investment ties compatible to their bilateral relations.

The two sides discussed diverse issues, including joint development of hydropower sector, identification of sources of financing, exploration of investment opportunities in energy sector, rehabilitation of existing hydropower plants and infrastructure development.

On the issue of finalization of transnational formalities to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Gilani said Pakistan was interested in importing 500 million cubic feet LNG per day from Qatar that produces 77 million tonnes per annum of LNG.

The prime minister also sought that Qatar should absorb Pakistani skilled and semi-skilled labour and said that already 87,000 Pakistani expatriates were contributing to Qatar’s economy.

He added that more Pakistanis could be part of Qatar’s demand of two million workforce for its infrastructure projects for FIFA 2022 World Cup to be held in Doha.

On the Afghan issue, the prime minister said Pakistan wanted a stable, prosperous and independent Afghanistan and would support any reconciliation process which was Afghan-led and Afghan-owned and did not cause instability in Pakistan.

He appreciated the initiatives of the Qatari government for facilitating the efforts for peace in Afghanistan.

He said that Pakistan wanted good relations with all its neighbours, including Afghanistan and India.

He referred to his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said that both the countries were committed to bring peace in the sub-continent.

Qatar’s prime minister said his country was ready to invest up to $5 billion in Pakistan in agriculture, tourism and infrastructure and other sectors.