Indian VP Naidu holds high-level talks with Qatar Prime Minister

In his third and final stop on an ongoing three-nation tour, Indian Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu met with Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Thani. In addition, he met with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Father of the Amir of Qatar. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who highlighted the historic ties between India and Qatar based on mutual trust and respect. He said he hoped more investments by Qatar can be made in India and more industrial companies can establish economic ties with Qatar.

Indian VP Naidu holds high-level talks with Qatar Prime MinisterAs both the Vice President and the father of Amir agreed, there is a substantial potential for trade between the two countries to diversify. As a result, India and Qatar can have a comprehensive energy partnership, as well as a mutually beneficial investment relationship. Qatari investments in India have grown five times since March 2020, but they remain well below potential, according to Naidu. The Indian business community has a keen interest in building partnerships with Qatar, he added.

The Vice President praised Qatar for establishing itself as a hub for education in the region. He was overjoyed to learn that several Indian universities had opened offshore campuses in Qatar. As part of the discussion on the health sector, Mr Naidu mentioned the valuable contribution that Indian health professionals have made to the health sector in Qatar.

Moreover, he continued on to say that India takes pride in being the pharmacy of the world, because it has nearly 800 manufacturers approved by the US FDA. The reason for this is that it supplies a large amount of medicines to the United States and Europe. India is also open to working with Qatar in the area of traditional medicine, in which case the two nations would be pleased to join forces.

Observing that nearly 40% of India’s gas needs are met by Qatar, Mr Naidu said India deeply values Qatar’s role in its energy security and emphasized the need for an energy partnership that transcends beyond buyer-seller relationships. India’s Vice President called on Qatar to be its partner in this upcoming journey focusing on green development. In recognition of the pandemic’s impact on the digital transformation, Mr Naidu listed several achievements by India in this area such as digital payments. There is a lot of potential for collaboration between the two countries in this area.

While congratulating Qatar for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and being selected to host the Asian Games in 2030, the Vice President called for more youth exchange programs to take place between the two countries. He pointed out that India attaches significant importance to its centuries-old ties with Qatar, saying that the pearl trade and the dhows provided the deep connection that can be explored today in the commonalities in culture, cuisine and cinema between the two countries.

In his first-ever visit to Qatar, Mr Naidu was received by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad Al Muraikhi on arrival at Doha airport. Indian community members greeted him at the hotel with a rousing welcome. Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare and other MPs are accompanying the Vice President in this visit. Senior officials from the Vice President’s Secretariat and the Ministry of External Affairs are also with him.