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Modi’s Visit Qatar its Outcome

Modi’s Visit to Qatar and its Outcome
Prime Minister being received on his arrival, at Hamad International Airport, in Doha, Qatar on June 04, 2016.

Modi’s Visit Qatar its Outcome
Prime Minister being received on his arrival, at Hamad International Airport, in Doha, Qatar on June 04, 2016.

India has always had a great relationship with Arab people from the ancient times. The evidence of trade relationship between Arab and ancient Indus civilization is well documented. For centuries, people of both nations have exchanged great amount of cultural values which helped to constitute the present-day nationhood for both people. India established full-fledged diplomatic ties with Qatar in 1975. Since then, both nations have strengthened their bilateral relationship. Now, Qatar situated at the heart of the Gulf, is a key partner in the Middle East. Both nations keep exchanging high-level visits including at Head of State level to further bilateral relations.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Qatar from June 4-5, 2016. The visit was focused on areas like energy, and hydrocarbon sector; bilateral trade & investment; culture and people to people contacts. Modi visited Qatar on the invitation of the Emir of Qatar His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. It is after 8 years that an Indian prime minister paid a visit to Qatar. As Qatar is gifted with many natural resources like crude oil, natural gas etc, India looks forward to ehanced cooperation in this field to meet its huge demand for energy. In the financial year 2014-15, the trade between Qatar and India reached $15 billion and leaders of the both nations are looking forward to double it in the coming financial years.

Modi’s Visit Qatar its Outcome
Prime Minister with the Business Leaders during a Round Table meeting, at Doha, Qatar on June 05, 2016.

Both the leaders issued a joint statement focusing on various issues ranging from bilateral to international. India and Qatar are longstanding partners in bilateral trade. International terrorism is an issue which adversely impacts both India and Qatar. Both leaders have agreed to fight terrorism shoulder to shoulder to ensure the safety of their people.
In recent years, India is emerging as a nation with very good medical care and infrastructure. Thousands of patients from Qatar and from other gulf nations come to India to avail medical treatment facility. Understanding the importance of health care, the leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Bilateral Cooperation in the Field of Health between the Government of the State of Qatar and the Government of the Republic of India.

The people of India and the Arab world share close cultural and civilizational ties. Apart from regular cultural relationship, thousands of Indians living in Qatar are acting as a living bridge to connect the people of both countries effectively. The Culture Ministry of Qatar has decided to celebrate Qatar-India cultural days in the year 2019 by Qatar Museums, Doha. This a great project where people of both nations connect with each other though cultural
programs and events.

Focusing on developments in the field of cultural cooperation, both leaders have signed a MoU on the Tourism Cooperation. There are around 7,00,000 Indian expatriates working in different sectors of Qatar. In view of several ongoing and upcoming infrastructure development projects, Qatar is in need of skilled and unskilled labor force. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Emir of Qatar HH Sheikh Tamim also signed a MoU for Cooperation in Skill Development and Recognition of Qualifications, which will enable to transform unskilled workers into a productive workforce. The bilateral trade between the two nations is termed as “an abiding link” between the two countries.

Both leaders have agreed to “diversify” the ongoing trade and investment relationship. Also, they have encouraged each other to participate in various trade symposiums and fairs to communicate with each other more closely. The Qatari government has also appreciated the role of Indian companies in building the FIFA 2022 World Cup city.

Modi’s Visit Qatar its Outcome
Prime Minister and His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al
Thani witnessing the signing of agreements to strengthen India-Qatarties, in Doha, Qatar on June 05, 2016.

Apart from the above mentioned MoUs, several others were also signed to boost the partnership between the two countries. MoU between National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), Ministry of Finance, Government of India and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA); Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters between the Government of the Republic of India and Government of the State of Qatar; MoU between Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) and the Qatar Financial Information Unit (QFIU) concerning cooperation in the exchange of intelligence related to money laundering, terrorism financing and related crimes; and MoU on cooperation in Tourism between the Government of the Republic of India and Government of the State of Qatar.

Focus on renewable energy was also discussed. Since the world is consuming its natural resources at a faster rate, it is high time for all nations to focus on renewable energy. India and Qatar have agreed to cooperate and share technologies to develop the renewable sectors, especially solar energy.

Overall, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Qatar was highly successful.Seven MoUs were signed in various fields from trade to culture and sports. Beyond the economic and trade relationship, both leaders also focused on people to people contacts. Prime Minister Modi’s visit enabled India to take part more actively in cooperating with Qatar for the wellbeing of its citizens. Both leaders agreed to work together to deal with various international issues like Palestine issue, global terrorism, economic growth etc. Qatar is the one of the largest suppliers of natural gas. Appreciating the close bonds between India and Qatar, the Qatari government also agreed to reduce the price of LNG for India. This is a huge gain for India, as it will help deal with energy needs of India. This visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened a new chapter in the Qatar-India relationship, which is to see more development and cooperation in the future.