05 July 2019

 

Predictions

  • Increased investment will secure economic ties with Pakistan but will not undermine Saudi Arabia’s rival influence on Islamabad
  • Doha will take further steps to bolster relations with Islamabad, likely including offering energy supply deal on favourable terms
  • Qatar will continue efforts to extend influence in wider region including in Sudan and Tunisia in competition with Saudi Arabia

Analysis

Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani held talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on 22 June as part of a two-day state visit to Pakistan. Following the visit Qatar confirmed it had pledged USD 3 billion in investment to the country, bringing the total value of Qatari investment in Pakistan to USD 9 billion, according to a statement from Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.

Qatar has deepened its economic ties to Pakistan in recent years, partly as a result of the economic and diplomatic blockade imposed on Qatar in 2017 by Saudi Arabia over Doha’s alleged funding of Islamist terrorism in the region. The blockade has forced Qatar to seek alternative trade partners, causing trade between Qatar and Pakistan to increase from just USD 782 million in 2016 to USD 2.6 billion in 2018, according to Qatar’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This comes despite Pakistan’s close ties with Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will hope its investment helps

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