DOHA: The trade figures between Qatar and Indian are likely to rise in current year, despite sharp decline in oil prices. The recent pact for additional supply of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) between inked between the two countries will give boost to bilateral trade.
“Qatar is an extremely important partner of India. The trade between the two side two years back was $17bn in which nearly $16bn was export from Qatar to India and almost $1bn was our exports (from India to Qatar). The import figure slightly decreased due to fall in oil prices,” said Sanjiv Arora, Ambassador of India to Qatar on the sideline of an event organised by Qatar Chamber on Sunday.
“On December 31, 2015, an additional agreement was signed between RasGas of Qatar and Petronet of India for additional supply of 1 million metric tonnes of LNG per annum. This is in addition of existing long term contract of 7.5 million metric tonnes. So we will see from this year the total export figures from here will grow,” he added.
Petronet LNG, India’s largest LNG importer, said in a statement last month that it has agreed to purchase an additional 1 million metric tonnes of LNG annually from RasGas through the remainder of the 25-year contract, ending in 2028. This is in addition to the existing contract to purchase 7.5 million tonnes annually.
India imports more than 80 percent of its LNG from Qatar and it is also one of the largest importers of fertilisers from Qatar, particularly Urea. He said that there is huge potential for trade between Qatar and India. “A number of our world class companies are already present here (in Qatar) in infrastructure, construction, roads and highways, stadiums, power sector, refinery, information technology and other sectors,” he said. “Every week there are several businessmen at top level, like, chairmen, managing directors, board members coming to Qatar. Our business partnership is very strong and it is going to further increase,” he added.
According to the ambassador, traffic of Indian corporate Doha is on the rise.
As per the latest figures on balance of trade of released by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics, in December 2015, Japan was at the top of the countries of destination of Qatar’s exports with QR4.4bn, having a share of 21.9 percent of total exports, followed by and India with QR2.6bn and a share of 12.9 percent, South Korea with QR2.5bn, a share of 12.4 percent.