India, Qatar vow to step up economic ties in non-oil sectors
New Delhi: India and Qatar on Wednesday vowed to take bilateral economic ties to the next level, with a focus on investing in other sectors apart from trading in petroleum.
In a meeting here between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, it was decided that Qatar would invest heavily in this country’s infrastructure and technology sectors.
The Emir, on a two-day trip to India, also met the Vice President and the minister for petroleum and natural gas.
During the meeting, the Emir said he “trusted” the Indian economy and Modi’s vision. Qatar has identified certain projects in defence, railways and highways, where the energy-rich country intends to invest substantially, according to Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson, ministry of external affairs.
Qatar is also aiming at massive infrastructure development as it gears up to host the football World Cup in 2022. It has asked India to invest in its infrastructure overhaul.
Both sides signed six agreements. One of the significant ones was on transfer of sentenced persons. Indians convicted in Qatar can be brought here to serve the remaining part of their sentence. Similarly, Qatari citizens convicted in India can be sent home. At present, 96 Indians are lodged across various jails in Qatar.
Another agreement, signed between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Qatari counterpart Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, pertained to cooperation in the field of information and communication technology.
The MoU is expected to enhance business opportunities for the Indian IT industry in Qatar. Qatar has embarked on an ambitious programme for overall development as part of their Qatar 2030 vision and has created a dedicated Ministry of Information and Communication Technology for capacity building in ICT.
Qatar is India’s significant partner in the Gulf region meeting 86 per cent of its LNG needs.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, minister for economy and commerce, Qatar said their country has several advantages which makes it an ideal partner for India as far as investment inflows are concerned.
“India and Qatar’s economic ties now extends well beyond oil and gas,” he said while addressing CII.
Two-way trade between India and Qatar stood at around $16 billion in last financial year.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.