Qatar remains India's top LNG (liquefied natural gas) exporter, accounting for more than 48% of New Delhi's total LNG imports, according to Alpen Capital.

Apart from LNG, Qatar exports ethylene, propylene, ammonia, urea, and polyethylene to India, which has become the fifth largest economy in the world with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $3.7tn.

Qatar's imports from India have also increased significantly in recent years, thanks to the opening of direct shipping routes connecting Indian ports with Qatar, Alpen Capital said in a report

Import of commodities such as food, vegetables, medications, metals, and construction materials from India have all witnessed a surge in recent years, it added.

Total bilateral trade (exports plus imports) between Qatar and India has progressively increased from $9.2bn in 2020-21 with exports at $7.9bn and imports at $1.3bn to $15.5bn in 2021-22 ($13bn and $1.8bn) and $18bn in 2022-23 ($16.8bn and $2bn).

Qatar already has bilateral agreements on customs cooperation, and double tax and investment protection agreements with India.

The country ranks among the top three exporting nations for India with the latter also being one of the top three import sources for Qatar alongside China and the US.

In the case of foreign direct investment (FDI), the cumulative FDI inflows from India into Qatar were valued at $30.9mn between 2018 and 2022 compared to $64bn between 2013 and 2017, Alpen Capital said.

Although GCC-India trade has flourished in recent years, when it comes to FDI, India’s share of total FDI into the GCC has been on a decline, it said, adding Indian FDI into the Gulf Cooperation Council manufacturing and financial and business services sectors has grown substantially since 2017, while investments in the construction activities have witnessed a decline.

The cumulative FDI from India to the GCC fell 45.1% to $ 5.4bn during 2018-22 against $9.8bn during 2013-17.

Highlighting that Qatar, along with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, is actively scouting for investments in India’s infrastructure projects; the report said the Qatar Investment Authority, coupled with private investors from these nations, is looking at attractive investment options in infrastructural sectors in India, including roads/highways, airports, and ports among others.

The cumulative FDI outflow from the GCC to India stood at $13.6bn during 2018-22.

In 2023, the QIA invested $1bn in RRVL for 1% stake. This investment is the addition $600mn invested in 2020. In 2022, the QIA had invested $150mn in a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel for a 2.75% stake.

The QIA holds stakes in several luxury hotels in India, including a significant stake in luxury hotel operator - The Leela Palaces. In 2023, the QIA had bought 2.7% stake in Adani Green Energy for $474mn, according to Alpen Capital.

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