Officials of the Qatar Chamber and the Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) held a meeting on Sunday with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, who invited companies in Qatar to invest in India.
Jaishankar met a large business delegation from both organisations in the presence of Qatar Chamber chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani and QBA chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel.
Other ranking officials who attended the meeting included Qatar Chamber second vice chairman Rashid bin Hamad al-Athba and QBA first deputy chairman Hussain Alfardan, as well as the chamber’s board members, Indian ambassador Dr Deepak Mittal, and Qatari and Indian businessmen.
The Indian minister praised Qatar-India ties, describing the relationship as “historic and robust’. Jaishankar underscored India’s interest in developing co-operation ties with Qatar in economic and commercial areas, as well as attracting more Qatari investments to India.
During the meeting, the officials reviewed co-operation relations between the Qatari and Indian private sectors; it also identified investment opportunities available in both countries.
Jaishankar called on Qatari businessmen and other investors to pour their investments in India, which, he said, offers a variety of opportunities in a wide range of economic sectors.
Similarly, Sheikh Khalifa praised the “strong and close relations” that link Qatar and India “at all levels,” especially in the economic and trade fields. He pointed out that the South Asian country is an “important trade partner” for Qatar, which is the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India.
Sheikh Khalifa noted that Qatar-India bilateral trade reached $10.5bn in 2019, and stood at $6.3bn at the end of the third quarter this year despite the impact of Covid-19 on the global economy.
He emphasised that Qatar Chamber supports the forging of partnerships between both sides, and noted that a large scope of opportunities exists for Indian businessmen to expand their trade here, especially that Qatar offers advanced infrastructure, suitable economic legislation, and an attractive business environment.
Sheikh Khalifa expressed his hope that the meeting would help foster co-operation ties and explore new areas of co-operation and partnership between the business sectors of both countries.
HE Sheikh Faisal also lauded the strong relations between both countries in the economic and commercial fields. He noted that most Qatari businessmen have business partnerships with Indian companies led by Indian managers. He also stressed that India was the first commercial destination for Qatari businessmen.
He also emphasised the Qatari businessmen’s “firm desire” to strengthen co-operation relations with their Indian counterparts, and expressed hope that mutual visits between them would resume after the pandemic.
Sheikh Faisal noted that Qatari firms have been present in international markets, which offers a good opportunity for them to build successful partnerships with their Indian counterparts whether in India, Qatar or in other countries.
During the meeting, Jaishankar reviewed the efforts made by India to contain the spread of Covid-19, noting that the Indian economy resumed activity in September and had started to recover from the impact of the health crisis.
Sheikh Khalifa, for his part, noted that Qatar managed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and had also prevailed over the 2017 economic blockade. He pointed out that India was among the first countries to launch direct marine route with Hamad Port in the beginning of the blockade.