This post was originally published on 25 March 2015.
Qatar wants to invest big in India, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar has told Times of India in an exclusive interview.
Expressing interest in Modi’s ‘Made in India’ initiative, the 34-year-old Emir said, “I know that the new government is taking a number of initiatives, especially in business and investment, which is very interesting and encouraging from our point of view. We trust the Indian economy. So we will invest in India.”
Investment and international security will dominate today’s talks in New Delhi. Qatar supplies 86 per cent of India’s Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and is an important partner in the Gulf region. The bilateral annual trade is around USD 16 billion. But Sheikh Tamim is keen to move the relationship beyond just energy.
Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said that the discussion will focus on investment opportunities for Qatar in India as well as possible scope for Indian companies for construction activities in that country as it will host the World Cup football in 2022.
He said both sides will sign a several pacts during the Emir’s visit. Around 600,000 Indians are working in Qatar and they act as a catalyst for enhanced ties across the spectrum of bilateral relations.
Qatar’s major exports to India include Petrochemicals, LNG, fertilizers, Sulphur and Iron Pyrites. India is the third largest export destination for Qatar. Qatar’s major imports from India include accessories, manmade yarn, fabrics, made-ups, cotton yarn, transport equipment, machinery and instruments, food and construction materials.
In Dec 2014 India has received its biggest shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Petronet LNG Ltd’s Dahej import terminal in Gujarat.
Qatar has also evidenced interest in India’s developmental projects, besides power, solar energy, infrastructure development, health care and education.