India-Qatar : Overview


  • India enjoys close and friendly relations with Qatar. The relationship is based on mutually beneficial commercial exchanges and extensive people-to-people contacts.
  • Qatar holds important place in India foreign policy, because of its location in middle east, huge natural gas reserves and large sovereign fund
  • Also important for India due to expats living there and remittance they send us back. Indians form the largest expatriate community (around 630,000) in Qatar.
  • Qatar is one of the most important trading partner of India in the Gulf region and important contributor to India’s energy security.
  • It is the largest supplier of LNG to India, accounting for 66% of the total imports in 2015-16.
  • Seven new agreements signed. Important are:
    • MoU for investment in NIIF
    • MoU for cooperation in Tourism
    • Cooperation and mutual assistance in customs
    • MoU on skill development and recognition of qualifications
    • Agreement to fight global terrorism by sharing terrorist and financial information
  • Agreements signed on:
    • Protocol on Technical Cooperation in cyber space and combating cybercrime.
    • Letter of Intent on an Agreement on grant of e-Visa for businessmen and tourists
    • MoU on greater collaboration and exchange in the field of national ports management.
    • Agreement on exemption from visa requirement for holders of diplomatic, special and official passports.
    • MoU between Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Analysis of recent Agreements:
  • Investment sector : India has invited Qatar to participate in PSU disinvestments, invest in the NIIF ( national infrastructure and investment fund ), and bid for hydrocarbon blocks under HELP policy.This will meet the India’s investment requirements for infrastructure especially when banking sector is under severe stress and corporate sector is burdened with stalled projects.
  • Energy sector : joint exploration of energy reserves and development of existing reserves by Indian companies in Qatar. It will provide opportunities for investment to Indian companies, also will secure India’s energy demands by buying stakes in the oil and natural gas fields.
  • Elimination of terrorism : agreement on sharing of information on transactions to prevent money laundering , affirmed commitment to eliminate terrorism. This will check the financing of terrorism, flow of black money from India, and also Qatar commitment will help in handling ISIS, securing stability in the Middle east. This will ensure safety of India’s diaspora and uninterrupted supply of energies.
  • Other agreement were made for promotion of bilateral trade, financial services such as banking and insurance etc.

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