Bilateral trade and economic relations between India and Qatar are expected to see major growth in the coming years as both the countries are working very closely and aggressively to further expand and deepen the level of cooperation in several areas.
India is already one of the leading trade partners of Qatar, and the bilateral trade volume has been witnessing sharp and steady growth over the last several years, which further got accelerated after the unjust blockade in early June 2017.
The two-way trade exchange between Qatar and India jumped to QR44.13bn ($12.12bn) in 2018 from QR31.06bn ($8.53bn) in 2016, registering over 42 percent growth in just two years. When compared on a yearly basis, the bilateral trade volume increased by nearly 24 percent last year against QR35.62bn ($9.78bn) in 2017, data released by Qatar Chamber show.
The trade balance (the difference between exports and imports) has been in favor of Qatar for the last several years. Qatar’s trade surplus with India reached at QR 29.67bn ($8.15bn) in 2018, registering a significant growth of nearly 21 percent (or QR5.53bn) compared to QR24.14bn ($6.63bn) in 2017.
India’s skewed trade deficit (or Qatar’s surplus) is due to the fact the energy-hungry South Asian economic giant is one of the major importers of Qatari LNG. It also imports mineral fuels, mineral oils, and products their distillation. In addition, India also imports several other products from Qatar, including chemicals, petrochemicals, petroleum gases, fertilizers, metal among others.
Major Qatari imports from India include food, rice, iron and steel, refrigerators, furniture, footwear, freezers, machinery, garments, apparels and a wide range of food products and medicine and medical instruments.
Qatar’s exports to India in 2018 soared to QR36.88bn ($10.13bn), while its imports from the South Asian nation reached at QR7.21bn ($1.98bn), according to statistics released yesterday by the Chamber, which hosted a trade delegation from India’s southwestern state of Goa.
The 12-member trade delegation, representing wide range industries such as building materials, IT, shipbuilding, metal, lighting, furniture, food, and others from the coastal state of Goa.
Anmol Modi, Senior Manager at Global Network, a Gujarat-based international trade advisory firm, gave a detailed presentation highlighting the trade and investment opportunities in Goa, which is richest state of India in terms of per capital income.
Modi, on behalf of the trade delegation, expressed his gratitude to the QC for hosting them and also invited the Qatari companies and business leaders to participate at the forthcoming Global Expo & Summit 2019, being organized by Vibrant Goa from October 17-19, and explore the business and investment opportunities in greater details.
The meeting, held at QC headquarters, was presided over by Mohammed bin Ahmed binTowar Al Kuwari, First Vice-Chairman of QC.
He welcomed the delegates and expressed that the QC’s readiness to extend all kinds of needful support the Indian investors and companies may seek.
Al Kuwari said: “India and Qatar enjoy very good and historical relationships. Bilateral trade volume is growing fast and steadily. Indians constitute the largest community of expatriates in Qatar.”
He added: “Indian companies in Qatar have extensive operations almost in every sector of the local economy. India is a very big country, both interns of the economy and the market size, offering huge opportunities for Qatari businesses and investors. And we look forward to further strengthening economic cooperation.”
Several prominent Qatari businessmen, representatives and business executives also participated in the meeting, which included Saad Al Dabbagh, Chairman of Hafeet Group and Wilson Chan, Director at Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZ) and others.
Chan also provided a detail presentation about the investment opportunities in Qatar’s fast developing free zones such as Ras Bufontas and Um Al Houl. After the presentations, both sides held B2B meetings and exchanged ideas.