India yesterday sought more foreign direct investment (FDI) from Qatar, especially in its promising infrastructure sector.
This was aired by P Sasi Kumar, deputy chief of mission, Indian Embassy, at a business meeting between Qatar Inc and the visiting Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), supported by Commercial Bank.
The 20-member Ficci delegation, headed by Hiten Haresh Bhuta, is currently in Doha seeking joint ventures and collaboration in various fields as Qatar is now on an infrastructure expansion overdrive.
Seeking investments in “mutually identified” areas; Kumar said it is time Qatar also considered increasing its FDI in India, which is expected to get back on a higher growth trajectory, having averaged 5% last year.
Focusing on the infrastructure sector, which New Delhi has accorded utmost priority to, Kumar said $1tn has been earmarked for the sector during the current five-year plan, which runs until 2017.
Referring to Qatar-India bilateral trade, which this year showed some decline; he said more meaningful measures were needed to enhance exports to reduce the trade gap.
Kumar said Qatar already has a long-term agreement to supply 7.5mn tonnes of liquefied natural gas to India. “The visit of the Ficci delegation comes in the framework of the growing economic and commercial co-operation between India and Qatar and there exists vast potential to further expand business collaborations between the two sides to mutual benefit,” Kumar said.
On the depreciation of Indian rupee; Kumar said India’s Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had already stated that it was a natural correction, reflecting the inflation levels in the country.
Dr Jai Raj Kumar Chintamani, managing director of CGN Research Labs and one of the delegates, said his firm was exploring opportunities in Qatar’s healthcare sector for its nano thermal sensors.
Ayub Hussein Kazi, partner Vibrant Corp, said his company, which deals in world’s leading engineering brands, was looking to expand its operations in Qatar and in the wider Middle East region.
Rosayya Battula, whose Arovi Granites has already supplied products to Istanbul as well as American airports, is exploring opportunities in Qatar, considering that the Gulf country is nearing the completion of its new $15.5bn Hamad International Airport.
The meeting was attended by Kenneth Clark, head of enterprise banking, Commercial Bank.

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