Jaishankar meets business leaders in Qatar; highlights investment opportunities in India

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Doha, Dec 27 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday met business leaders in Qatar and highlighted the investment opportunities in India while appreciating the commitment for strengthening bilateral partnerships.

Jaishankar, who is in the Gulf nation for a two-day visit which is his first as the external affairs minister, began his trip with the India-Qatar Business Roundtable.

“Appreciate the commitment for strengthening our business partnerships. Briefed them about new opportunities flowing from ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. Thank Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikh Faisal, the Chairpersons of QCCI (Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and QBA (Qatari Businessmen Association),” the minister said in a tweet.

Jaishankar also visited the Qatar National Musuem.

“Understanding the historical connections between India and Qatar. Gujarat (literally) was an important door for commerce and contacts,” he said in another tweet.

Later in the day, the minister virtually interacted with the Indian community in the country and appreciated their contribution to meeting the COVID-19 challenge.

He also urged their participation in the development of a “New India”.

In New Delhi on Saturday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that Jaishankar will hold talks with his counterpart on bilateral issues as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest during his visit.

It said the minister will convey 'special gratitude' to Qatar for taking care of Indians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

'During the visit, he is scheduled to meet the Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani. He will also call on other important dignitaries of the State of Qatar,' the MEA said.

India and Qatar have maintained close high-level contacts during the pandemic.

'Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani have spoken thrice on telephone in the past few months. External Affairs Minister and other cabinet ministers have also spoken with their Qatari counterparts,' the MEA said.

Qatar is home to over seven lakh Indians. The bilateral trade was USD 10.95 billion in 2019-20, according to official data.

'Both sides remain committed to intensify bilateral cooperation in various fields including energy and investments. India and Qatar have also worked together to face the COVID-19 pandemic and coordinated smooth operation of flights under an air bubble arrangement,' the MEA added. PTI CPS