Tuesday, June 28, 2022

After Saudi & UAE, Qatar Refuses To Invest In Key Pakistani Projects

After Saudi Arabia and UAE, Qatar has also turned its back on Pakistan’s key infrastructure projects involving the development of major airports in the country. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has excused itself from investing in Pakistan’s airports citing the deviation from the originally proposed model of 2017.

The Qatar Investment Authority had initially wanted Pakistan to transfer the ownership of the three airports in the name of the government-owned company and also buy about 35-40 percent strategic stakes in that company, however, in the present times when Pakistan’s government intends to rather outsource the commercial activities of these airports, QIA has backed out of the plan.

The official documents show that “the deviation by the authorities concerned from the earlier model carved out in 2017 under which expression of interests were sought for ‘Operation Management and Development Agreement’ and ‘Airport Services Licence’ is the main reason of refusal by Qatar Investment Authority to invest in major airports of Pakistan.”

The previous year, during the two-day dialogue between Pakistan and Qatar to explore collaboration in potential projects, QIA’s head of emerging markets had shown excitement over the upcoming projects that could lead to stronger ties between Doha and Islamabad.

Meanwhile, the PM of Pakistan, Imran Khan has expressed his distress over the failure in authorities concerned in alluring investment from Qatar, reports the News International.

The Way Forward

Since UAE and Saudi Arabia have already made their way out of the project, experts believe that Qatar’s exit could be a major blow to the proposed plan. The documents unfolded that a committee has been formed to evaluate the available options and recommend the way forward.

The committee reportedly includes Adviser to PM on Commerce and Investment, Minister for Aviation, Adviser to PM on Parliamentary Affairs, Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis, Chairman Board of Investment and Secretary Aviation to estimate the other viable options to continue the plan.

According to the documents accessed by media, the committee has also been strictly asked to finish the segregation of regulatory and operational functions of Civil Aviation Authority along with two drafts legislation by June 30, 2020.

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