External Affairs Minister (EAM) S.Jaishankar paid a 2-day visit to Qatar from December 27-28, 2020. This is Jaishankar’s 1st Visit to Qatar as EAM. This is the 7th high-level in-person Indian Delegation’s visit to West Asia.
During the meeting, Jaishankar called on Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, Interior Minister of the State of Qatar;Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister & Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the state of Qatar.
India-Qatar Business Roundtable:
i.Jaishankar interacted with various business leaders from Qatar such as Sheikh Khalifa & Sheikh Faisal, Chairperson of QCCI (Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry) & QBA (Qatari Businessmen Association).
ii.He briefed the business leaders about new opportunities in India & urged them to take part in development of New India.
Note – Gujarat was an important door for commerce and contacts.
EAM calls on Qatar’s Amir, PM:
i.Jaishankar called on Amir of the State of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and handed him a personal message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which invited Tamim to visit India and thanked him for taking care of Indian Community in Qatar.
ii.The Amir accepted India’s invite and agreed to visit at an early date.
Jaishankar also had detailed discussion with Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani on bilateral & international issues of mutual interest.
i.Both Countries agreed to implement the process of setting up Task Forces on investment & energy.
ii.Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani lauded the contribution of Indian Community in Qatar for the development of Qatar.
iii.Both sides discussed strengthening the economic & security cooperation.
iv.They held detailed discussions to strengthen relationships in areas such as energy, trade, investment, food processing, healthcare, education, culture, defence & security.
v.They committed to maintaining regular consultations & coordination on all issues of mutual interest at multilateral fora.
Invite to visit India for Joint Commission Meeting:
EAM invited the Deputy PM & Foreign Minister of Qatar to visit India for the 1st Joint Commission Meeting in 2021.
Interaction with Indian Community:
i.EAM also held virtual interactions with the Indian Community in Qatar.
ii.Qatar hosts around 7 Lakh Indians, which is around 25% of the total population of the country.
EAM’s visit to Ahmed bin Ali FIFA Stadium:
i.Jaishankar visited the Ahmed bin Ali FIFA Stadium (popularly known as Al Rayyan Stadium) situated at Al Rayyan. The Stadium is one of the venues for 2022 FIFA World Cup set to be held in Qatar.
ii.The stadium has been built by Indian company Larsen & Toubro (L&T) along with Qatari partners Al Balagh Trading & Contracting.
iii.The stadium was inaugurated on December 18, 2020 on Qatar National Day.
iv.This was the 1st time that an Indian firm was involved in any capacity in building infrastructure for a FIFA World Cup.
Visit to National Museum:
He also visited the Qatar National Museum in Doha.
i.Qatar is the largest LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) supplier to India. It imports around 10 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) which accounts for 50% of India’s Global LNG imports.
ii.Qatar’s Key exports to India are LNG, LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), Chemicals & petrochemicals, plastics, and aluminium articles.
iii.India’s Key exports to Qatar are cereals, copper articles, iron and steel articles, vegetables, fruits, spices, and processed food products, electrical and other machinery, plastic products, construction material, textiles & garments, chemicals, precious stones and rubber.
iv.India’s bilateral trade with Qatar in 2018-19 was US$ 12.33 billion.
v.The bilateral trade was US$ 10.95 billion in 2019-20.
Recent Related News:
i.October 8, 2020, EAM Jaishankar visited Tokyo, Japan for a two-day visit from October 6-7, 2020.
ii.External Affairs Minister (EAM) of India Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar undertook a Six-day Three Nation visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Republic of Seychelles from November 24-28, 2020.
Currency – Qatari Riyal
Prime Minister- Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani