Qatar and India’s bilateral trade has also hit $15 billion between 2021 and 2022.
Qatar’s investments in India have increased ‘fivefolds over the past two years as the two countries expand their bilateral ties, Indian media reported on Monday.
The major trade development between the two countries was announced by Union Minister of State for External Affairs Vellamvelly Muraleedharan in a meeting with the Indian community in Qatar.
Muraleedharan is on a three-day visit in the Gulf state where he is meeting with several Qatari officials, including State Minister for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi.
The Indian official said his ‘productive’ meeting with Al-Muraikhi discussed matters related to energy, trade, investment, education, and the welfare of the Indian community in Qatar.
“Confident that the partnership will continue to clock newer heights,” he said.
The Indian official noted that Qatar and India’s bilateral trade has also hit $15 billion between 2021 and 2022. The Gulf state hosts more than 700,000 Indians who work in various sectors in the country that contribute to its economic growth.
Qatar and India’s trade ties between 2020 and 2021 reached $9.21 billion.
Growing trade ties
Qatar is India’s largest supplier of liquified natural gas (LNG), accounting for more than 40% of its imports and 15% of the Gulf state’s exports.
India’s biggest gas importer, Petronet LNG, signed a deal with Qatar in 2015 to purchase 7.5 million tonnes per year of LNG from Qatar under a long-term agreement expiring in 2028.
New Delhi was the top destination for the shipments of Qatari gas in January after it received more than 1.2 million tonnes of LNG from Doha.
Other exports to India include liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), chemicals and petrochemicals. India’s exports to Qatar include cereals, vegetables, fruits, spices, and processed foods.
According to India’s embassy in Qatar, the increase in Doha’s imports from New Delhi has been attributed to the opening of direct shipping lines, known as the India Qatar Express Service.
Direct flights between the two countries has contributed to the growth of Qatar and India’s bilateral trade. Several flights are carried out by Qatar Airways, Air India, Air India Express, Indigo, Vistara, and GoAir.
There are more than 6,000 Indian companies operating in Qatar in the fields of infrastructure, communications and information technology, and energy. The presence of such companies aid in expanding bilateral business cooperation.
Indian companies work in key projects in Qatar including the Al Rayyan Stadium, Gold Line Metro and Wakra Bypass highway.
The establishment of a Qatar-India Business Council was announced in 2016 to increase mutual trade. During the same year, India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Doha at the invitation of Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
This was the highest-level visit from New Delhi to Doha since former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s trip to the country in 2008.
Diplomatically, officials from Qatar and India held several mutual visits in a bid to bolster their ties.
Last year, India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar visited Doha for two days. The Indian official had met with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and other government officials.
Such visits witnessed the signing of key agreements and major announcements. This included declaring 2019 as the India-Qatar Year of Culture. The year saw more than 45 cultural events, including exhibitions and fashion shows take place in the Gulf state.