17 Apr 2018 - 0:01
Qatar set to emerge as top investment destination
By Satish Kanady I The Peninsula
DOHA: Qatar is looking at India as an important investor destination. The launch of Qatar’s world-class port will further bolster the trade relations between the two countries, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, H E Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi has said . The Minister was formally opening the inaugural edition of Qatar India Business and Investment Conference (QIBIC) here yesterday in the presence of India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar.
Qatar has deep-rooted and bilateral trade relationships with India and the time has come to take India-Qatar partnership to new high level. The deep knowledge of Indian businessmen in the Qatari market will be an important factor to taking these bilateral relations to the next level. The Minister said the conference comes at a time when the State of Qatar is opening up to foreign investment and expanding its business partners, in order to strengthen its position as a regional investment and commercial center providing investors with incentives and facilities to benefit from local and regional markets.
“It is my pleasure to be here at this Conference as Qatar seeks to further develop investment and trade partners and offer investors facilities to tap into the local market. And this conference will focus on ways of further cooperation in terms of energy, infrastructure, health, education, media and Information Technology,” the Minister said.
Qatar, through the new port and Hamad International Airport, offers world-class routes to connect with the world. Shipping lines between Qatar and India have made logistics more efficient and Qatar simplified tax law to offer better terms to investors. Qatar looks at India as an important investor destination and we are pleased that we have set-up the Qatari Indian Business Council, he added.
MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs India said: “We are pleased to be at this conference that lays foundation of the most significant bridge between two sovereign nations.”
Relations between Qatar and India have always been good and the last years have been marked with several visits and desire to work together and build shared prosperity. Now it is time for business leaders to deliver on the promise of political leaders. Governments are enablers, they clear conditions in which businesspeople can find partnerships, and now we are depending on those business leaders to strengthen the bilateral trade and investment opportunities.”
Addressing the opening session, Abdullah Mubarak Al Khalifa, Chief Business Officer and Executive GM, QNB, said Qatar and India have a long-term brotherhood and strong trade relationships in various sectors and those relations continue to expand to cover most fields due to the closeness between the two countries’ leaderships and nations. The current world economic challenges require unity and cooperation between countries in order to face those challenges and proceed with our journey towards growth and prosperity. Conferences such as this are important to allow us to work together to find solutions and successful decisions to leverage the future of trade and economic relations between the two countries.
A session, titled ‘Doing Business in Qatar’, hosted by Sheikha Alanoud Hamad Al Thani, Managing Director, Business Development, Qatar Financial Center (QFC), discussed the various ways of setting up business in Qatar through different platforms, including QFC. This was followed by a presentation by Ajay Kumar, Asst. General Manager, Asset and Wealth Management, on ‘Qatar India Winds of Change’, which examined Qatar-India relations with a focus on the current Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) that are in place and plans to enhance economic cooperation. Delegates were then given insight into ‘Doing Business in India’ by Gaurav Gupta, CEO QNB India, which outlined the options available for international companies and entrepreneurs looking to start a business in India.
The second session of the opening day, ‘Digital Governance’ focused on the shift towards smart governance and the digitization of systems and processes. The day’s third thought-leading discussion examined the best practices for nurturing entrepreneurs and SMEs.
The second day of the conference today will focus on two main panel discussions. The first session will focus on the latest trends of supporting technology and innovation in Qatar, and the second will be a session on Infrastructure: New Tides of opportunity that will discuss mega projects in Qatar and the future plans related to infrastructure.