India is emerging gas market for Qatar: Doha Bank CEO

Source: ET

India is emerging as one of the largest gas markets for Qatar and offers opportunities for two-way investment partnership, a top Doha Bank official has said.

“Cooperation in Power sector between India and Qatar is under way and New Delhi has evidenced keen interest in importing additional natural gas from Qatar in the recently concluded World Petroleum Congress,” said R Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank.

In an interview to PTI here, he said many Indian enterprises have active developed relationships in Qatar market through partnerships, agencies and have set up their offices – L&T, Tata Projects, Voltas, Dodsal and Punj Llyod to name a few.

India has sought to purchase 3 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar in addition to the 7.5 million tons that it already imports from Qatar. India also purchased 4 million tons of oil from Qatar in 2010.

An agreement has been signed by the Government of India and the State of Qatar to avoid double taxation and prevent fiscal evasion with respect to income tax.

Exports of Qatar had steadily increased in the last four years reflecting increased demand by Indian economy for Qatar’s hydrocarbon.

Petronet LNG, which at present imports 7.5mn tons a year of LNG from Qatar under a long-term contract, has sought an additional 2-3mn tons and State gas utility GAIL India wanted 1mn ton for 20-25 years.

The Qatari side highlighted its interest in getting access to the PSU disinvestments via the Anchor investor route.

The investment opportunities in the Kayamkulam expansion project of NTPC are being evaluated by the Qatar Investment Authority as also various renewable energy projects in the private sector.

Qatar becoming the host for 2022 World Cup had led to massive investment in infrastructure and Indian companies with a global profile are active in securing lucrative deals in the Engineering, Procurement and Construction management contracts (EPCs).

India offers opportunities for two-way investment. Qatari investment in India is mainly in the infrastructure sector and private Indian companies are looking for investment in Qatar to further intensify cooperation in petrochemicals, fertilizers, power, and banking and finance sector, civil aviation and HRD.

In the Banking Sector SBI has opened its Branch in QFC Qatar. Doha Bank is currently awaiting the license from Reserve Bank of India to start operations, he said.

Qatar accounted for about 31 per cent of total construction projects announced in MENA in 2011.

Qatar National railway system; Doha New International Airport, Barzan Gas project, Education City are some of the major projects ready in Qatar up for grabs for major Indian companies.


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