India, Qatar sign agreements on visas, cyberspace, investments

This post was originally published on 4 December 2016.

Qatar and India yesterday reviewed bilateral relations with both sides seeking investments from each other across multiple sectors besides signing agreements, including ones on visas and cybersecurity.

During delegation-level talks in New Delhi led by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two sides reviewed bilateral relations in depth, in particular on the follow-up of the important decisions taken during Modi’s visit to Qatar in June this year.

Modi and HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser also identified civil aviation as a priority sector for enhancing co-operation.

Infrastructure development, investment opportunities

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, both sides agreed to increase the level of participation in infrastructure development projects on either side and undertook to exchange information on available investment opportunities in a regular and timely manner.

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“It was agreed to expedite steps to put in place the necessary framework so that economic actors on both sides can take full advantage of the opportunities available, particularly in the area of infrastructure, special economic zones, civil aviation, energy, petrochemicals, health and pharmaceuticals, information technology, education, tourism and agriculture,” the statement said.

“The two leaders also emphasised the need to take practical steps to build on the framework provided by the agreement on defence co-operation signed in November 2008 by enhancing co-operation in the fields of specialised training, exchange of information and joint production of defence equipment.”

Three agreements signed

Three agreements were signed, including an agreement for exemption of visa requirement for holders of diplomatic, special and official passports, and memorandums of agreement (MoUs) on technical co-operation in cyber space and combating cyber crime; and between the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy of Qatar and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in addition to a letter of intent for e-visas for tourists and businessmen.

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Separately, an MoU between Qatar Ports Management Company and Indian Ports Global Private Limited was concluded.

Later in the day, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, called on Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.

HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser arrived in New Delhi on Friday accompanied by the Ministers of Finance, Transport and Communication, and Municipality and Environment, apart from the CEOs of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Qatar Airways as also Deputy CEO of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and several key captains of industry.

This was the third exchange of high-level visits between India and Qatar in less than two years.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani visited India in March 2015 which was followed by the visit of Modi to Qatar in June 2016.

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