The robust business and trade relations between Qatar and India are progressing very well despite the Covid-19 pandemic with several trade committees being formed and high level activities planned in the coming months, Indian ambassador Dr Deepak Mittal disclosed.
“The bilateral trade and economic relations between India and Qatar remain very strong, touching more than $9bn in 2020 and over $7bn in energy in energy sector alone. This was when the chips were down with the Covid-19 scenario and the economic activities were down.
"Commerce ministers of both countries are expected to have a conversation soon to focus more on bilateral trade and diversify and enhance the trade relations,” the envoy said.
Mittal was interacting with the media at the embassy to discuss India’s efforts at dealing with the Covid-19 challenges and the prominent role that Qatar is playing in meeting the medical requirements in his country.
“Qatar Investment Authority is planning to set up an office in India and they have already made two major investments. One is in technology platform Josh and the second is in Swiggy, an e-commerce and delivery platform,” the ambassador revealed.
He added that there is an agreement to set up a joint working group on trade between Qatar and India.
“This is done by the commerce ministries and headed at the level of a joint secretary in India and a director in Qatar. This will be an institutional framework to have dialogue and regular discussions on focusing more on bilateral trade.
"This will also discuss the challenges in promoting bilateral trade and overcoming them. The first meeting will be held very soon,” Mittal said.
“We are in the process of setting up a joint business council between Qatar and India with businessmen from both countries. This will be formed with Qatar Chamber and the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and will be a joint business council between India and Qatar with the participation of private businessmen from both countries.
"This will be realised soon after the pandemic situation settles,” he added.
The envoy also noted that as per the discussions in December last year, His Highness the Amir and the prime minister of India have agreed to set up a taskforce to promote investments between Qatar and India as well as a joint taskforce on energy which is already working.
“The taskforce is exploring distribution of LNG, setting up of LNG facilities in India, gas pipeline infrastructure such as citywide pipelines as well as nationwide pipeline to supply LNG.
"To promote and as our commitment to climate change goals, India’s target is to increase the gas in the energy mix from 5% to 15%. We are exploring how gas can be the fuel for mobility leading to setting up of more LNG filling stations,” he said.