Emir of Qatar calls on the President
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee yesterday (March 25, 2015) received His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar. He also hosted a banquet in his honour.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said he was confident relations between the India and Qatar would be strengthened by the Emirâ€™s visit, which was his first State Visit to India. He thanked the Emir and his father for their personal commitment to strengthen bilateral ties with India. He also thanked the Emir of Qatar and his Government for ensuring the safety, security and well being of Indian community in Qatar.
The President said India has launched a major set of reforms to boost economic growth. The Government of India has eased foreign direct investment caps in key areas, like railways, defence and insurance. It is an opportune time to make investments in India, especially since India was once again on the path of high growth. The President also expressed the need to make the trade more broad based and diversified.
Responding to the President, the Emir said bilateral relations between Qatar and India have been always strong, but they can be made even stronger. The goal of his visit was to strengthen relations. Qatar is happy with the progress in relations between the two countries in various fields. It is confident that these relations will continue to develop and grow further, particularly after signing more cooperation agreements between the two countries and in the wake of the significant economic reforms introduced by the Indian Government which has led to improvement in the investment climate in India. The Emir reiterated Qatarâ€™s commitment to help secure Indiaâ€™s energy needs. He also expressed appreciation for the role of the Indian community in Qatar and their contribution to the progress and economic development of Qatar.
In his banquet speech, the President said India and Qatar share deep and rich historical connections based on geographic proximity and cultural commonalities. Qatar is part of Indiaâ€™s extended neighbourhood. Civilizational links between the two countries find expression in mutually beneficial, growing economic and commercial exchanges and close people-to-people contacts. There is lot that both countries can do together to realize the existing potential in trade and investment ties.
The President said the rich experience of Indiaâ€™s globally reputed companies in executing infrastructure projects of the highest standard is at the disposal of its Qatari friends. India is confident they would be worthy partners in Qatar’s economic progress and would contribute meaningfully towards Qatarâ€™s preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The President said India deeply values Qatar as a reliable source of energy. It is time that the two countries convert their commercial synergies into a deeper energy partnership through India-Qatar joint ventures in refineries and petrochemicals projects in India, as also through joint exploration in third countries. India invites investors and entrepreneurs from Qatar to look at Indiaâ€™s infrastructure sector and to join in the “Make in Indiaâ€ and â€œDigital Indiaâ€ initiatives. Indiaâ€™s 100 Smart Cities project is open for foreign participation. Foreign investment caps have been eased in construction, railways and defence sectors. India looks forward to new partnerships and collaborations in areas of common interest.
The President said Qatar has generously embraced a large number of Indian expatriates and has encouraged them to flourish and prosper. The positive contribution that the Indian community in Qatar has made towards the development and progress of their host country has been well acknowledged and appreciated.
The President said Qatar is from a region which is of vital importance to India. Peace and stability in West Asia is in common interest of both the countries. Cooperation between India and Qatar is necessary for countering terrorism and maritime piracy that affect both of countries.