Qatar launches direct trade route with Pakistan, bypassing blockade

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic, business and travel ties with Qatar alleging Doha for supporting terrorist organizations.

According to Reuters, Qatari Transport Minister Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti said: “The port. will break the shackles of any restrictions imposed on our economy”.

The Hamad Port, which began operating in December, is a major hub for imports to Qatar, hit by a land and air embargo by some of its most powerful neighbours.

However, manufacturing of food products jumped 12.5% as Qatar runs some of its processing plants overtime to offset the disruption to imports.

He pointed out that the port is now hosting one of the largest commercial vessels in the world, from China, carrying about 1,500 containers on board.

Among the most prominent projects that will be at Hamad Port is the construction of buildings and warehouses for food security, the minister said, explaining that the project will be constructed on an area of approximately 53 hectares (530,000 square meters) and will contain manufacturing, conversion and refining facilities for rice, raw sugar and edible oils.

It has a capacity of 1.7 million tonnes of general freight and one million tonnes of grain, according to Mwani Qatar, the country’s port management company.

The isolation of Qatar over Doha’s alleged support for militants has raised concerns that projects could be delayed if supplies from the Far East and South Asia are choked. The new routes connect Qatar ports to Sohar and Salalah ports in Oman, Shuwaikh Port in Kuwait, Karachi port in Pakistan, Izmir port in Turkey and Mundra and Nhava Sheva ports in India. It will provide Qatar with complete independence in its import and export of goods.

Hamad Port will have an annual capacity of 7.5 million shipping containers.

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