Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said India deeply values Qatar’s role in its energy security and underscored the need to move beyond buyer- seller relationship into a comprehensive energy partnership.
Naidu reached Qatar on Saturday on the last leg of his three-nation tour. He is the first ever vice president of India to visit the State of Qatar.
The vice president called on Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, father of Amir of Qatar and held delegation level talks with Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar on Sunday.
Highlighting that India and Qatar have historic ties built on mutual trust and respect, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, father of Amir of Qatar hoped that more investments can be made by Qatar in India and more industrial and business houses can establish economic ties with Qatar.
The vice president and father of the Amir agreed that there is a huge potential to diversify trade between the two countries, a statement issued by the Vice President Secretariat said.
Appreciating that Qatar’s investment in India has grown five times since March 2020, Naidu opined, “it is still well below potential and can be substantially increased.” He also said that there is a keen interest in the private Indian business community to build partnerships with Qatar.
The vice president lauded Qatar for emerging as an education hub in the region and expressed happiness over several Indian universities opening offshore campuses there.
He thanked Qatari leadership for taking care of the 7.8 lakh Indians in Qatar. ”We are happy to note that Indians are found in all walks of life and have become a part and parcel of Qatar’s developmental journey,” the statement said quoting Naidu.
Naidu also reiterated the Indian community’s long standing request for a prayer hall and a crematorium in Qatar.
Referring to the landmark visits by the Amir to India in 2015 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Qatar in 2016, Naidu said the relations are driven by close chemistry between the leadership of the two countries.
Observing that nearly 40 per cent of India’s gas requirements are met from Qatar, Naidu said that India deeply values Qatar’s role in its energy security and underscored the need to move beyond buyer- seller relationship into a comprehensive energy partnership.