Doha: India and Qatar are very important trade partners and there are several segments of bilateral cooperation that are significant and growing, H E Vinay Kwatra, Foreign Secretary of India said, yesterday, addressing a press briefing organised by the Embassy of India on the visit of Prime Minister of India H E Narendra Modi to Qatar.

“Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Prime Minister of India discussed a wide range of areas of bilateral cooperation, including trade partnership, investment cooperation, energy partnership, issues engaged in regional security, cultural affinity and people-to-people ties. They also discussed the need for strategic investment and partnership in the field of energy and technology and to proceed beyond the buyer-seller relationship in this field,” Kwatra added.

Speaking about the bilateral trade between the two countries, the Foreign Secretary noted that the bilateral trade roughly stands close to $20bn and there is strong investment cooperation.

“The multifaceted partnership in the field of energy includes energy trade as also other segments of energy supply chain contributing to stronger partnership in the field of energy security,” he added.

Kwatra mentioned that recently on the sidelines of India Energy Week, held in Goa, the two countries signed an agreement for the supply of 7.5 MTPA of LNG for 20 years starting 2028 onwards. This long term LNG partnership goes back to 1999 and remains robust, strong and future-oriented.

Prime Minister Modi had a very successful visit to Qatar. The visit has set the stage and laid the basis for taking the India-Qatar relationship to a much higher level across the whole domain of cooperation and also laid the foundation to explore partnership in some of the new areas which include the domain of space, technology and innovation.

The Indian PM’s visit to Qatar is focused on consolidating the wide-ranging partnership that India and Qatar have across different fields of economic cooperation. Technology, investment, energy and trade aspects were discussed.

Kwatra said, “It essentially segues into the areas of technology trade, investment and energy. In terms of technology whether it is the domain of fintech or technologies used in the building of smart cities, for example, 3D innovation ecosystems for technology innovation ecosystem combining with the skilled manpower and taking the convergences of these four areas into individual sectors such as space, education, energy, automotive, electric vehicles and the ecosystem of each of these areas.” “The whole idea is to not just look at technology from a singular domain of fintech but also expand the scope of technology partnership to other domains and then within domains to the entire ecosystem of each domain,” Kwatra added.

Regarding the energy sector, he noted that India and Qatar have a strong energy trade partnership but there are several aspects where the two countries could have a strategic view. For example, green energy, renewable space, building supply chains that go beyond trade in the field of clean energy using technology in the energy space; looking at innovations that are coming up in the energy field.

Ambassador of India to Qatar H E Vipul; Joint Secretary in charge of Gulf division in the Ministry of External Affairs Aseem R Mahajan and Joint Secretary (XP) and Official Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal were also present at the event.

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