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India, Qatar inks five agreements

India and Qatar have signed five agreements including in the field of visas, cyberspace and investments.

These agreements were signed after bilateral talks held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani in New Delhi.

Singed Agreements are
  • 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).
Bilateral talks

Both sides held bilateral talks on key issues of energy, trade and security. India expressed its keenness to invest in hydrocarbon projects in Qatar. They also agreed to enhance cooperation in defence and security in particular in cybersecurity and jointly tackle money laundering and terrorist financing. Qatar welcomed Indian investment in the port sector of Qatar. It also invited India’s participation in infrastructure and investment opportunities coming up in the wake of Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022.  They also discussed the regional situation, particularly in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

India-Qatar Relations

India enjoys close and friendly relations with Qatar. The relationship is based on mutually beneficial commercial exchanges and extensive people-to-people contacts. 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. Indians form the largest expatriate community (around 630,000) in Qatar. They have provided positive contribution in the progress and development of Qatar.

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NIIF and Qatar Investment Authority inks MoU to boost infrastructure investments

The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has signed a MoU with Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) for facilitating investment in India’s infrastructure.

Objective of MoU: Facilitate QIA to study investment opportunities in India’s infrastructure sector in order to enable both sides to decide on joint investments.

The MoU has been signed for a period of one year during which both signatory parties will discuss and agree on the terms, criteri, principles for investments.

Under it, the NIIF with share a pipeline of investment opportunities available in the infrastructure sector in India with QIA.

It should be noted that NIIF has signed similar agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in February 2016 to mobilize investments into the Indian infrastructure sector.

Qatar Investment Authority: It is the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar which deploys a wide range of investment strategies and invests through a carefully selected network of top-tier fund managers.

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund: It is India’s first 40,000-crore rupees sovereign wealth fund, aimed to attract investment in infrastructure sector development in commercially viable projects, both brownfield and greenfield including stalled projects.

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India, Qatar sign seven agreements to boost bilateral ties

India and Qatar have signed seven bilateral agreements in various fields to boost bilateral ties.

These agreements were signed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Qatar Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha.

It was PM Narendra Modi’s second stop to Qatar after he had visited to Afghanistan as part of his five- nation tour which will also take him to Switzerland, US and Mexico.

Signed agreements are

  • MoU for investment in National investment & infrastructure fund: It aims at establishing framework for facilitating participation of Qatari institutional investors in Infrastructure projects in India under NIIF.
  • MoU on cooperation in tourism: Aims at enhancing bilateral cooperation in the field of planning and developi
  • ng of tourism. It will be done through promotion and marketing to support cooperation between private sector stakeholders.
  • Agreement on cooperation and mutual assistance in custom matters: It promotes mutual assistance and cooperation on matters pertaining to customs administration through exchange of information and intelligence between the two countries.
  • MoU on Finance Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) and Qatar Financial Information Unit (QFIU): Facilitate exchange of intelligence related to terrorism-financing, money laundering and related crimes and persons connected thereto.
  • MoU in the field of youth and sports: It provides exchanges and cooperation in sports activities, exchange visits of leaders and officials and training camps for sports teams etc. between the two countries.
  • MoU on cooperation in skill development & recognition of qualifications:
  • MoU on cooperation in the field of health: Provides cooperation in areas of health, including in environmental and occupational health, pharmaceuticals, medical education.
  • It also seeks to exchange of the best practices in the field of primary healthcare, technology, research in the field of health care, health care system and exchange of medical scientists and experts.

Besides, PM Narendra Modi and Qatar Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani had wide-ranging talks. They highlighted the need to isolate the supporters and sponsors of terrorism. They also decided to constitute an inter-ministerial high-level joint committee to regularly review all bilateral matters, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.

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