India’s push to more than double the share of natural gas in its energy mix by 2022, will help enhance the Qatar-India trade link, P. Kumaran, India’s Ambassador to Qatar, said on Sunday.
Currently, natural gas accounts for 6 to 7 percent of India’s energy mix. “Our target is to bring it to close to 20 percent. So there is huge scope for the increase in LNG and LPG to India, which means there will be a greater maritime link with India and Qatar in the coming years”, the Indian envoy told The Peninsula on the sidelines of the opening of the Qatar Country Office of IR Class, Indian Register of Shipping.
Qatar is India’s single largest source of imported gas, supplying about 55 percent of India’s total LNG imports. From Qatar, India imports something about 20 million tonnes of gas per year in the long term. India has plans to increase gas imports by another 20 percent. Therefore, the country is looking at Qatar’s enhanced supply capabilities with huge interests.
The Ambassador said India is holding several levels of discussions to increase Qatar’s imports of gas. India’s Petroleum Minister was recently in Doha to discuss the country’s growing energy demands.
Ambassador Kumaran said the bilateral trade between Qatar and India are fast-growing. The trade exchange between the two countries has increased by 100 percent over the past two years. As of now, the two-way trade value stands at $12.5bn. Of this, a significant $11bn is India’s imports from Qatar, mostly LNG, LPG, and petrochemicals. “We hope that the trade with Qatar will continue to grow going forward”, he said.
India’s corporate sector is increasingly pursuing business opportunities in Qatar. 24 fully-owned Indian companies and an estimated 6000 Qatar-India joint ventures operate in various sectors of the Qatari economy. SBI, ICICI, and other Indian banks have operations under Qatar Financial Centre or private exchange houses in Qatar.
Laila Aljefairi, Business Development Manager, QFC; Arun Sharma, Executive Chairman, IR Class; Suresh Sinha, Managing Director, IR Class; and Capt. Bijoy Kumar Sharma, Qatar Country manager, IR Class attended IR Class country office opening event.