Qatar-India sign trade deals

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Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (2nd left) shaking hands with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Also present is Indian President Prathiba Patil and Qatari First Lady Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missnad. Photo - Yasbant Negi/India Today

Qatar and India have signed an agreement that will enhance co-operation in oil and gas production, the Gulf state’s government news agency reported.

The deal, among six agreements, was made during Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s official visit to India, where the Qatari Emir held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Qatar is the largest provider of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India, exporting around 7.5m tonnes per year to the South Asian nation.

India is also a major importer of Qatari oil, purchasing around 5.6m tonnes of crude oil last year.

Both Qatar and India also signed agreements relating to tourism, education exchanges and co-operation over legal issues.

The Qatari ruler previously visited India in May 2005 heralding a new era of bilateral trade that has seen a four-fold growth from US$1.2bn in 2005 to US$4.6bn in 2010.

Officials hope that the Qatar Investment Authority, the state’s sovereign wealth fund, will seek more investment opportunities in India.

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