HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani stressed that the joint commonalities between Qatar and India represent a solid platform for the development and promotion of economic ties and trade between the two countries, and boosting them to wider horizons, especially in light of the rapid developmental process they witness, which is reinforced by their economic openness.
Speaking during a working dinner with Indian businessmen in New Delhi yesterday, the premier stressed the historic and outstanding ties between Qatar and India that date back to hundreds of years.
He announced the establishment of a Qatari-Indian council for the private sector.
The premier pointed to Qatar’s achievement of decent growth rates despite a fall in oil and gas prices over the past two years thanks to its efforts to diversify economic activity and boosting public spending. He noted that India is one of the biggest five trade partners for Qatar, with a trade exchange of more than $10bn.
HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser said that the bulk of trade exchange in Qatar’s exports to India deals with liquefied natural gas as Qatar is one of the biggest exporters of natural gas to India.
In this regard, the premier said Qatar aims to increase LNG exports to India to meet its growing needs of energy.
He added that economic issues come at the forefront of state priorities and, for that reason, countries of all political systems strive to enhance the role of the private sector and unleash its innovations without any restrictions, and work to invite foreign investment to contribute its financial and technical capacities in national economy.
HE the Prime Minister added that Qatar, under the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, took that approach and path and boosted it recently with a big number of initiatives to develop the business environment by developing co-operation between the public and private sectors and providing support for the private sector to carry out its role across the different economic sectors.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser noted that Qatar will continue its efforts to enhance the business environment, open the sphere for domestic and foreign investments, and increase the private sector’s participation in huge development projects.
Among these initiatives is the recent announcement on facilitating work visas and granting tourist visas to people of some countries, including India.
The Prime Minister reaffirmed that Qatar enjoys advanced rankings on business environment indices as it ranked 14th out of 140 states on the Global Competitiveness Report according to the World Economic Forum.
Qatar is currently working to execute projects at a total cost of more than $100bn and contracts are expected to be signed for new projects worth up to $12bn in 2017, the premier said.
In light of the policy of Qatar’s government in increasing the private sector’s role in the execution of these projects, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser said there are several opportunities that “we invite you to exploit in order to enhance economic co-operation and investments between Qatar and India in the coming phase.”
He noted that the Indian expat community in Qatar is the biggest in the country and is well taken care of as it plays a role and contributes to the economic development. Pages 2, 14
Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of interior HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani arrived in New Delhi yesterday evening on a two-day official visit to India. He was accorded an official welcoming ceremony.