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India, Qatar to move beyond trading relations to strategic developments

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Doha (Qatar): Asserting that engagement in key sectors were discussed during the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Qatar Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Ministry of External Affairs on Sunday said that both the nations felt there is need to beyond trading relations to strategic developments.

“The main issues that were discussed were the first and foremost the Indian diaspora or the Indian community welfare. Prime Minister Modi thanked them for taking caring and making good arrangements for their stay here, plus their security and general welfare,” Secretary (East Region) Amar Sinha told the media here.

“Second critical importance was how we could partner together in investments that go beyond this trading relation that we have. Both side felt that time has come that there is a need to move beyond trading relations to strategic developments. The key sectors which the Prime Minister felt were important were railways, agro processing, solar energy and defence manufacturing,” he added.

Sinha also said that on the political front, there was a general expression of happiness on interactions.

“Both sides felt there is a need to raise the level of an annual consultation which in principle we have decided to form a high level committee, both for follow up and review as well as charting the path forward,” he said.

“We discussed how to facilitate business and tourist visas and we are hoping an announcement will be made by the Qatar Government. We have a liberal visa regime in terms of duration and number of entries. The Qatar Government would like to reciprocate and make announcement shortly today,” he added.

“During meeting with businessmen in Qatar, the Prime Minister asked them about what India can do to invite investments from Qatar,” he further said.

Several agreements in various fields including skill development, investment, tourism, sports and youth affairs will be signed. The discussions are expected to focus on energy but various other aspects of the relationship will also come up during the talks.

The list of MoU’s signed between the two nations are MoU for Investment in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, MoU in Cooperation in Skill Development and Recognition of Qualifications and Agreement on cooperation and mutual assistance in custom matters.

The other agreements include MoU in Cooperation in Tourism, First executive program for MoU in the field of youth and sports, MoU on Cooperation in Field of Health and MoU on Finance Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) and Qatar Financial Information Unit (QFIU). (ANI)

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