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Blockade against Qatar creating new export opportunities for Pakistan

Staff Writer | December 14, 2017
The Saudi led blockage of Qatar has created new export opportunities for Pakistan.
Pakistan port
Trade   Quieter yet significant
While Iran and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar for accelerating trade with the Gulf state, Pakistan’s support has been quieter yet significant in terms of export percentages and opportunity available.

Pakistan’s total bilateral trade with Qatar in fiscal year 2017 was $1.2 billion, of which $52 million were Pakistan’s exports to Qatar. Since June this year, Pakistan’s exports have increased by 35 percent.

On an average, month-on-month export increase has been 51 percent. Rice, vegetables and bed linen were the main exports to Qatar.

In terms of total volume, Pakistan’s exports have risen by just a few million dollars. However, there are bigger opportunities, especially for food items.

According to brecorder, Qatar’s Finance Minister talked about bypassing the Jebel Ali port in the UAE and ramping up imports via the newly opened Hamad port.

From this port, new maritime routes to various countries -including Pakistan- are being explored. Using the Hamad port, the new maritime route will decrease transit times from 6 -7 days to 4 days, and decrease shipping costs by more than 30 percent.

This new service, called PQX, will be used mainly to transport perishable products and other food items from Pakistan, while outbound vessels are expected to transport petrochemicals to Karachi.