India, Qatar sign 7 agreements
India and Qatar on Sunday signed seven agreements, including investment and tourism promotion, following delegation level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Qatar Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani here.
"From investments to skills, health to tourism, leaders witness signing of agreements to strengthen India-Qatar ties," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
According to one memorandum of understanding (MoU), Qatar will invest in India`s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
The government had set up the Rs 40,000-crore NIIF last year for enhancing infrastructure financing in India.
Another MoU was signed between India`s Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, and Qatar`s National Qualifications Authority/Supreme Educational Council, on cooperation in skill development and recognition of qualifications.
A third MoU calls for Cooperation in tourism between the two countries.
Another MoU was signed on cooperation between India and Qatar in the field of health.
A fifth MoU was signed between Finance Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) and the Qatar Financial Information Unit (QFIU).
An agreement was signed on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters.
A first executive programme for MoU in the field of youth and sports between the two countries was also signed.
Ahead of Sunday`s delegation level talks, Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Emiri Diwan here.
Modi`s is the first prime ministerial visit from India to energy-rich Qatar since the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s in 2008.
This is Modi`s third visit to a GCC country. He visited the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia earlier.
Earlier on Sunday, Modi attended a meeting of Qatari business leaders and invited them to invest in India.
Modi will also interact with the Indian community here later in the day. Qatar is home to around 630,000 expatriate Indians -- comprising the single largest group of migrants in Qatar.
The Prime Minister, who arrived here on Saturday from Afghanistan on the second leg of his five-nation tour, visited a health camp organised for Indian workers here soon after his arrival.
He was later hosted for dinner by Qatari Prime Minister Abdullah Biv Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Modi and Sheikh Tamim held detailed talks here on a wide range of issues with an intent to give a push to India-Qatar ties.
Qatar is an important trading partner for India in the Gulf region with bilateral trade in 2014-15 standing at USD 15.67 billion. It is also one of India's key sources of crude oil.
While landing here yesterday, Modi had said India attaches great priority to strong ties with Qatar and that his visit seeks to expand the bilateral ties further.
The Prime Minister has been focusing on improving ties with the Gulf region which is crucial for India's energy security. He has already visited United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
On Sunday evening, Modi will depart for Switzerland on the third leg of his tour that will also take him to the US and Mexico.