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India Qatar Bilateral Economic Relations

India has a long history of friendly relations with Qatar marked by commercial ties and people to people contacts. The large Indian community acts as a catalyst for enhanced ties across the spectrum of bilateral relations. There is a growing synergy in the hydrocarbon and other sectors. More recently, a number of steps have been taken to further strengthen and expand bilateral relations. These include exchanges of high level visits, cooperation in multilateral institutions and political consultations.

The State Visit of HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani,  the Emir of Qatar, to India in March, 2015 at the invitation of Hon’ble President Shri Pranab Mukherjee,  provided an excellent opportunity to both sides to engage at the highest level, and imparted fresh momentum to our bilateral ties. The former Emir (now the Father Emir) HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani had paid three State Visits to India - in April 1999, April 2005 and April 2012.  Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had visited Qatar in November, 2008.

HH the Emir's visit in March, 2015 was highly significant in many ways. This was Emir’s first visit to India, a country with whom Qatar's relations are steeped in history. This was also the first visit of the Head of State of an Arab country after India's current Government led by Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi assumed office in May, 2014.

During the Emir's visit, the two sides discussed ways to build a forward-looking partnership by further broadening and deepening the bilateral engagement. It also provided an opportunity to better leverage the existing complementarities between the two countries in key areas of mutual interest including inter alia, energy, power, petrochemicals, investments, infrastructure, development, project exports, education, culture, health, human resource, media and information technology. Six Agreements/MOUs were signed during the visit, in the following areas: (i) Transfer of sentenced Persons; (ii)   Mutual cooperation between Foreign Service Institute, MEA and Diplomatic Institute, MFA; (iii) Cooperation in Information and Communication Technology; (iv) Cooperation in Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences;  (v) Cooperation in Radio and Television; and (vi)  Mutual Cooperation and Exchange of News between Qatar News Agency and United New Agency.   

HH the Emir and HE the Prime Minister & Interior Minister have most graciously invited Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to visit the State of Qatar. Both sides are in active contact in this regard. 

Commercial & Economic Relations

India’s exports to Qatar crossed billion dollar mark to touch US$ 1.05 billion in FY2014-15 and total bilateral trade reached US$ 15.67 billion. The bilateral trade had touched nearly US$17 billion in 2013-14, with India's exports amounting to nearly US$1.0 billion, registering a growth of 45% over the export figure (US$ 687.18 million) in 2012-13.

Major items of Indian exports are articles of iron or steel, plastic & articles thereof, construction material, electrical and electronic items, textiles, chemicals, precious stones, rubber, spices and cereals. The balance of trade is heavily in favour of Qatar.

India is the third largest export destination for Qatar (behind Japan and South Korea) while import from India to Qatar stand at 10th on the list. India is a major buyer of ethylene, propylene, ammonia, urea and polyethylene from Qatar.  However, India has been a major customer for Qatari crude oil/products.  A letter of Intent has been signed with Qatar on setting up a Joint Venture fertilizer plant in Qatar, subject to allocation of gas for this project. Bilateral trade data in last few years is tabulated as under:

Values in US$ Million 


Qatar’s export to India 

%age growth over last year 

Qatar’s imports from India 

%age growth over last year 

Total trade with India 

Growth % 





























2015-2016 (Apr-Dec)







Natural Gas Imports from Qatar: India (Petronet) has signed an agreement to purchase 7.5 million tonnes of LNG every year from Qatar for a period of 25 years, the first shipment took place in 2004.  The full supplies of 7.5 million ton began from Jan, 2010. In addition, spot cargoes are purchased from time to time. For instance, Petronet signed (May 2014) a deal to buy 0.8 million tons LNG from Qatar's RasGas in the fiscal year that began on April 1, 2014. The gas is being imported at Petronet's 10-million-tonne-a-year Dahej regassification terminal in western India. In Dec 2014, Petronet received its 1000th cargo at Dahej from RasGas.

On 31 December, 2015, Petronet signed a fresh agreement with RasGas to purchase an additional 1.0 mn tons of LNG annually through the remainder of the existing 25-year contract, ending in 2028. The Top 10 natural gas export markets for Qatar are tabulated as under:


Exported value in 2010

Exported value in 2011

Exported value in 2012

Exported value in 2013

Exported value in 2014

value in 2015















South Korea





















United Kingdom



































Value in US$ billion

Indian Companies in Qatar: A large number of Indian companies are undertaking the implementation of many major projects in Qatar in infrastructure, information technology, energy, construction and water and electricity fields. There are a total of 26, 100% Indian owned companies working in Qatar in various fields such as infrastructure, contracting, information technology, gold trade, and food items trade. Nearly 6,500 Qatari-Indian companies in joint venture partnerships are working practically in all fields in the country.

Many Indian companies such as L&T, Dodsal, Punj Lloyd, Shapoorji Pallonji, Voltas, Tata motors, Simplex, TCS, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Aptech and NIIT have set up offices in Qatar and have secured major contracts/ business. The large Indian community in Qatar includes Indian professionals who constitute an important component. There are fourteen Indian schools following the CBSE syllabus. Air India, Jet Airways and Qatar Airways operate direct flights between India and Qatar.    

Ongoing projects of Indian companies: Indian contractors, Larsen & Turbo (L&T) has won (March 2014) a QR 2.1 billion road project in Qatar. The contract with Qatar’s public works authority, Ashghal, is for the design and construction of the Al Wakra Bypass, the largest ever single road contract outside of India for L&T. In a separate development, L&T secured a US$740 million order from Qatar Railways Co., for the design and construction of the rail line for the Doha Metro project in Qatar. L&T secured this order along with its joint venture partners comprising total four companies which is scheduled to be completed in 54 months.

Shapoorji Pallonji, a Mumbai and Dubai-based construction company was awarded the ‘Contractor of the Year’ award at Qatar Contractors Forum & Awards 2014 in conjunction with the International Quality & Productivity Centre (IQPC).

Information Technology: A large Indian IT companies present in Qatar have executed some of the prestigious projects in the country. They are doing businesses in the areas of consultancy, SAP, enterprise applications integration, logistics management and security services etc. NIIT and APTECH are successfully running their IT training institutes in Qatar.

Indian Banks Operating in Qatar: State Bank of India, Canara Bank, and Syndicate Bank have their presence in Qatar and are managing substantial remittances to India through their exchange houses.  State Bank of India and ICICI Bank  have branches in the Qatar Financial Centre to undertake limited operations such as private corporate banking and investment banking.  There are a number of exchange houses run by involving Indian banks, which channelize remittances to India.  The four major exchange houses involving Indian banks are Eastern Exchange (Canara Bank), Trust Exchange (State Bank of India), National Exchange (Syndicate Bank) and Al Mana Exchange (Bank of India).  The value of annual remittances from Qatar is estimated to be nearly US$ 4.2 billion in 2015

Qatari Banks Operating in India:  Doha Bank, one of the leading Qatari bank, started its operations in India from Jan 01, 2015. It was granted banking license by the RBI  in 2014. Doha Bank already has a brokerage in the country (Doha Brokerage) with 41% stake and 59 % with the local brokers of Kochi. The largest Qatari bank called Qatar Nation Bank (QNB) started operations in Mumbai in 2013. QNB (India) provides investment and finance consultancy and advisory services for the Middle East companies establishing businesses and investing in India.

Real Estate : In July 2013, Qatar Investment Authority decided to invest US$300 million in a special purpose vehicle formed by developer RMZ Corp to buy and build leased office assets, mainly in south India. Baring Private Equity has a 21 percent stake in the vehicle which it bought in 2012 for 500 crore rupees. Reports indicate that some private Qatari investors have also invested in real estate in India including hotels and other properties which are not in public domain.

Qatari Investments in India: Qatar’s sovereign Wealth Fund – the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is the main Qatari investor in India.  The QIA was founded in 2005 to manage the oil and natural gas surpluses of Qatar with the stated objective of minimizing risk from Qatar’s reliance on energy prices. According to Moody’s, the QIA is estimated to hold in excess of US$300 billion of resources of which a substantial portion is invested abroad. Some of QIA’s investments in India includes:

  • Investment in Bharti Airtel: Qatar Foundation Endowment picked up 5% stake in Bharti Airtel  with an investment of US$ 1.26 billion in July 2013. The investment routed through Qatar Holding had secured a board seat at the world's top five biggest mobile phone company by customer base.
  • Investment in Flipkart: Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) invested (Dec 2014) US$ 150 mn in India’s e-commerce major Flipkart. The stakes purchase was part of US$700 million fund raising by Flipkart. In another development, the QIA acquired in Dec 2015 additional US$100 million in Flipkart which was purchased from Venture capital firm Accel Partners.

Investments by Indian companies in Qatar includes, a US$ 100 million joint venture to be set up in Mesaieed Industrial area between Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company (QIMC) and KLJ Organic Limited to manufacture Chlorinated Paraffin Wax along with caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, calcium chloride and sodium hypochlorite as by-products and co-products.


Bilateral Trade & Other Delegations

            In the last few months, there have been several trade missions from India to Qatar. Some of the important ones are listed in chronological order as under:

ASSOCHAM led 45 Indian companies to participate (May 12-15) in the  Project Qatar 2014, the 11th International Construction Technology & Building Materials Exhibition.

A 6-Member business delegation from Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) visited Doha from Sept 3-5, 2014 to promote the 7th ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ Global Summit, held in Gandhinagar (Gujarat) from Jan 11-13, 2015. As part of their visit, the Mission supported a Road Show. A MoU on Cooperation was also signed between QCCI and Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The Embassy organized three Business and Investment Events in Doha on the occasion of the launch of the ‘Make in India’ campaign by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 25 September, 2014 in cooperation with the following organizations: [i] Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry [QCCI]; [ii] Indian Business and Professionals Network [IBPN] – an association of NRI professionals, businessmen and entrepreneurs functioning under the aegis of Embassy of India, Doha; and [iii] Doha Bank.

The Embassy, in cooperation with the three apex organizations of the Indian community in Qatar, namely, Indian Cultural Center [ICC], Indian Business Professionals Network [IBPN], Indian Community Benevolent Fund [ICBF], organized an event focused on the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas [PBD] [held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, from 7-9 January, 2015] at the ICC premises in Doha on 16 December, to mobilize the participation of NRIs from Qatar. The event, attended by a large number of NRIs, focused on PBD. The PM’s address to Overseas Indians during his visit to New York in September 2014 was shown and Ambassador made a detailed power-point presentation on PBD and responded to several questions from the participants. It was followed by a presentation on 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 11-13 January 2015.

  • HE Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, former President of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority  visited New Delhi to participate in the 15th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS 2015), which was held from February 5-7, 2015 Al-Attiyah held talks with senior Indian officials on regional and    international issues. He also attended the first conference of the Gulf's industrial businessmen and their Indian counterparts. The conference was attended by Ministers of commerce and industry in the GCC countries and a number of Indian Ministers.
  • A NASSCOM delegation comprising 20-22 IT companies visited Qatar visited Qatar from March 17-19, 2015.  The delegation’s  primary objective was to explore partnerships & joint ventures, SME to SME collaborations and explore business prospects in software development, R&D & other IT services industry. The Mission actively coordinated the programme of NASSCOM with support from the Indian Business and Professionals Network (IBPN), Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry (QCCI) and other Qatari/Indian companies. The delegation had  interactive session with the QCCI, IBPN where in the visitors made a PowerPoint presentation followed by Q&A and one-on-one interactive round.  The events were attended by a large number of businessmen and professionals. Two Indian companies signed MoU with the local Qatari companies.
  • His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s Emir accompanied by a high level delegation comprising Ministers, senior officials, business leaders and captains of industry, paid a State visit to India from 24-25 March 2015. During the visit, the Emir met President Shri Pranab Mukherjee, held bilateral discussions with the Prime Minister and met other ministers including Foreign Minister, Minister of overseas affairs and Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas. Six agreements/MOUs signed during the visit including in the areas of Transfer of sentenced Persons, cooperation in IT, Science and media. Both sides resolved to strengthen bilateral trade and investments including possibility to increase investments by Qatar’s sovereign fund into India. The Qatari side expressed keen interest in the flagship-"Make in India” programme. The Indian side also informed the Qatari side of the Clean Ganga Programme and Digital India Programme.
  • The second largest Qatari lender Doha Bank officially inaugurated (April 2015) its Indian operations in Mumbai. The inaugural ceremony was attended by Finance Minister HE Ali Sherif al-Emadi, Qatar Central Bank Governor HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Saoud al-Thani and India’s Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu. The delegation also witnessed the e-inauguration of Doha Bank, Kochi branch and the launch of Doha Bank (India) website. Doha Bank’s India operations will focus on small and medium enterprises, comprehensive range of financial services by deploying consumer-centric technology and innovative delivery channels.
  • Nearly of 65 Indian companies participated at the exhibition ‘Project Qatar 2015’ under the banner of Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). The 12th edition of the event was held from May 4 to 7, 2015 at the Qatar International Exhibition Center in Doha, Qatar. The Exhibition, witnessed 1,130 exhibitors, representing over 2,000 companies and brands and 21 pavilions from 40 countries.
  • Shri Anil Dhirubhai Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Group, accompanied by a team of senior executives, visited Doha on 30 August, 2015. Mr. Anil Ambani called on Qatar’s PM, Minister of Finance, CEO of  Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Governor of Qatar Central Bank and CEO of Qatar Petroleum (QP). Anil Ambani group is exploring trade and investment opportunities between both the countries.
  • A 7-member CEO delegation from CII led by Dr. Naushad Forbes, President (designate) visited Doha during October 20-21, 2015. The delegation included CEOs and other senior representatives of companies operating in a wide range of sectors including, infrastructure; energy; heavy engineering; manufacturing. The delegation had separate interactive sessions with companies affiliated with Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) and other prominent Indian businessmen and professionals. The delegation also met Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al-Khalifa, CEO of Qatar Development Bank (QDB) to discuss bilateral trade and investments opportunities. Dr. Forbes later met Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) and head of Al Faisal Holdings having diverse business interests.
  • To promote ‘ELECRAMA 2016 -the World Electricity Forum – being organized by Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers’ Association [IEEMA],  scheduled to be held in Bengaluru from 13-17 February, 2016, the Embassy of Doha participated in promotional event organized on 27 October, 2015. The delegates at the event were addressed by Ambassador and experts from Indian electricity industry figures and participated in an informative interactive session that underlined the enormous synergies that exist between the Indian electricity sector and key markets in the Middle East.
  • Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum & Natural Gas [MOPNG] arrived in Doha on 8 November, leading a high level delegation to the 6th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable (AMER). MOPNG called on Qatar’s Prime Minister & Minister of Interior, held a separate meeting with his counterpart and had bilateral meetings with Heads of a number of other delegations. MOPNG also had an interaction with a broad based gathering of the Indian community in Qatar before returning to India on 10 November, 2015.
  • Promoting Tourism in India: India is fast emerging as a favorite destination for tourists not only  for leisure but also for medical treatment. To strengthen relations between Qatar and India and boost tourism  ‘Incredible India’, a Road Show on Indian Tourism, was organized by India Tourism, Dubai on Nov 18, 2015 with the support and cooperation of Embassy of India, Doha at Marriott Marquis, one of the top hotels of Doha. India Tourism, Dubai had collaborated with Tamarind Global, a leading Indian travel and tourism company and Regency Travel and Tours, a leading Qatari company in organizing this promotional event on Indian tourism. Many representatives from local and Indian hospitality industry and airlines were also present at the event. A similar event titled “Know India Seminar” was organized in Doha in Oct, 2014 to promote India Tourism and the range of options available in the country. The  journey of Fath Al Kheir 2, the dhow from Qatar to India, reaffirmed the deep rooted relations between the two countries, especially in the tourism sector. 

Indian community in Qatar

  • The Indian community in Qatar is the single largest expatriate group and they  act as a catalyst for enhanced  ties across the spectrum between India and Qatar. Indians are highly regarded in Qatar for their sincerity, hard work, technical expertise and law-abiding nature. Indians are employed in almost every local establishment, governmental or private, in various capacities.
  • While a majority of the Indian community continues to be  engaged in unskilled and semi-skilled work and, therefore, belong to the low or lower-middle income groups, for the last few years, an increasing number of Indian nationals have been engaged in professional jobs as doctors, engineers, chartered accountants, bankers, etc. A number of Indians have also established themselves as entrepreneurs.
  • There are three apex Associations of the Indian community that function under the aegis of the Embassy, with the Ambassador as the Patron, which provide focal platforms for socio-cultural, the humanitarian and economic/commercial activities of the Indian community.  These are Indian Cultural Centre (ICC), Indian Community Benevolent Forum (ICBF) and Indian Business and Professional Network (IBPN).  These organizations function with the Embassy’s guidance and support.


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