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QATAR TO FACILITATE PAKISTAN RICE EXPORTS: ENVOY
5/26/2018

THE NATION (26/05/2018)

QATAR TO FACILITATE PAKISTAN RICE EXPORTS: ENVOY

LAHORE - Ambassador of Qatar to Pakistan Saqr Bin Mubarak Al Mansouri said that Central Tendering Committee (CTC) would facilitate Pakistani traders to export basmati rice to Qatar by opening tender for them.

He was addressing an iftar dinner held in honour by the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan Chairman Samee Ullah Naeem. The ambassador said that the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the State of Qatar are based on strong foundations of mutual respect and common heritage. He said that he was confident that these relations will increase to a great extent with the expanding trade and economic interactions between the two countries.

The ambassador noted that the enhanced connectivity whether through frequent flights by Qatar Airways or through the new shipping routes opened between Karachi and Hamad ports are having a major impact on the bilateral relations between the two countries.

REAP Chairman Samee Ullah Naeem praised the Qatari government's decision to grant entry visas to Pakistani citizens on arrival in Doha, saying that it is a significant step in increasing not only people to people contact, but also in facilitating the exchange of business and tourism delegations.

He said that exports from Pakistan to Qatar have surged by over 50 percent in second half of 2017, as the total volume of exports from Pakistan stood at around $40m from July to Dec 2017compared to $25m in the last six months of 2016.

He said that unfortunately Pakistan rice export is banned for the last five years though the Qatar had been a major rice buyer of Pakistan as Pakistan exported over 50,000 metric tonne of basmati rice worth $50 million along with 36,000 metric tonne of non-basmati rice worth more than $21 million in 2012-13.
But the export graph went downward to 15,000 metric tonne of basmati in 2014-15.

He said that Pakistan is pursuing an application for the inclusion of Pakistan in the list of importers of rice maintained by the Central Tendering Committee of Qatar.

The CTC was established in 1976 in Doha and is responsible for all government related bids, contract awards and contract processes.

The REAP chairman also urged the Pakistan commerce ministry to utilize all available diplomatic channels in this regard. "The commerce ministry should take strenuous efforts to enhance Pakistan's trade volume with Qatar. The ministry, in this regard, can fully activate the commercial section at the Pakistani embassy in Doha," he said.

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