Doha Bank Group CEO Dr R Seetharaman moderates a session on “Sovereign investment fund and investment fund opportunities” at Qatar-India Joint Economic and Business Meet in New Delhi, in the presence of Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar al-Baker.
Doha Bank Group CEO Dr R Seetharaman moderated a session on “Sovereign investment fund and investment fund opportunities” at the Qatar-India Joint Economic and Business Meet at Kamal Mahal Hotel ITC Maurya Sheraton in New Delhi.
Dr Seetharaman gave insight on the Qatar economy. He said “Qatar’s National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030) builds on a society that promotes justice, benevolence and equality. Qatar, with its enlightened vision, has brought a new set of governance.
The four pillars of QNV 2030 are human, social, economic and environmental development. It aims to propel Qatar forward by balancing the accomplishments that achieve economic growth with the human and natural resources.
Qatar has also witnessed economic, social and political progression in recent years. Qatar’s economic growth is expected to rise to 7% this year and inflation at 3%. Private sector can play a key role in non-hydrocarbon diversification.”
Dr Seetharaman highlighted the rationale for doing business in Qatar.
He said, “Qatar welcomes and encourages foreign participation through several attractive incentives. Non-Qataris can do business in Qatar. Generally, foreign ownership of up to 49% allowed. In many sectors such as manufacturing, education, health, tourism, power etc.,100% ownership is allowed. S&P has affirmed its AA long-term and A-1+ short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Qatar with a “stable” outlook.“
Dr Seetharaman gave insight on bilateral trade between Qatar and India. He said “The bilateral relationships between Qatar and India are witnessing significant developments. Qatar’s major exports to India include petrochemicals, LNG, fertilisers, sulphur and iron pyrites. India is the third largest export destination for Qatar.
Qatar’s major imports from India include accessories, man-made yarn, fabrics, made-ups, cotton yarn, transport equipment, machinery and instruments, food and construction materials. Qatar’s major imports from India have increased in recent years mainly from food and construction materials. India is also negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Qatar under the India-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Framework Agreement.”
Dr Seetharaman highlighted on hydro carbon trade between Qatar and India. He said “Qatar is the largest supplier of LNG to India. There is a large market for Qatar’s LNG, oil and petrochemical sectors in India. RasGas has entered into a 25 year 7.5mn tonnes per year sale and purchase agreement with Petronet and has been supplying the Indian market since 2004.
In April 2014, Petronet had signed a short-term contract with Qatar’s Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company to import 800,000 tonnes of LNG over 12 months to supply to refineries.
In December 2014, India received its biggest shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) through Q-Max LNG vessel, at Petronet LNG Ltd’s Dahej import terminal in Gujarat. RasGas stands ready to assist Petronet in meeting India’s growing demand for eco-friendly fuel.”
He said “FDI inflows to India surged, increasing by about 26% to an estimated $35bn in 2014. The policies of India in recent years have given encouragement for FDI investment in sectors such as infrastructure, railways, insurance, medical and real estate.
Qatar has a large portfolio of investments such as the Shard, the Olympic Village, the Shell Centre, the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, shareholdings in Barclays; Sainsbury’s and BAA, as well as ownership of Harrods and Chelsea Barracks. In recent years Qatar has started diversifying its investments in the Asian Region.
“Qatar-India bilateral relationship in trade and investments is expected to surge in coming years and the growing bilateral relationships are strategic and special,” Seetharaman added.