This post was originally published on 3 December 2016.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed India’s keenness to invest in hydrocarbon projects in Qatar during talks with his counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani on key issues of energy, trade and security.
Modi and the Qatari Prime Minister, who is here on his first visit, discussed enhancing cooperation in defence and security, in particular in cyber security and agreed on joint action to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.
After the talks, the two sides inked five pacts including in the field of visas, cyberspace and investments.
Modi said the visit of the Qatari Prime Minister showed the growing bilateral ties with Qatar, which India has always regarded as a “valued partner”.
The two leaders acknowledged that the current level of trade and investment was much below potential, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, adding Modi highlighted the tremendous opportunities available for Qatari investment in India’s infrastructure and energy sectors.
On energy cooperation, Prime Minister Modi said, “We should go beyond the buyer-seller relationship to include Joint Ventures, Joint Research and Development and Joint Exploration.
“Indian companies were ready to invest in both upstream and downstream projects in Qatar in the hydrocarbon sector.”
Not only an important trading partner for India in the Gulf region, Qatar is also the largest supplier of LNG to it, accounting for 66 per cent of the total imports in 2015-16.
On his part, the Qatari leader invited India’s participation in infrastructure and investment opportunities coming up in the wake of Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022. He also welcomed Indian investment in the port sector of Qatar.