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President Patil calls for strengthening economic ties with Qatar

New Delhi, Tue, 10 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 10 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil has said that the bilateral economic ties between India and Qatar were below par and needed to be strengthened.

"The two countries had growing economies and had the capacity to harness trade in sectors like energy and infrastructure," Patil said while addressing the reception dinner for the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and his wife Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al-Missand here.

"Both our economies are growing and offer many opportunities. Our bilateral trade and investment levels, however, remain below their potential. There is an urgent need to work towards enhancing our economic inter-linkages for the mutual benefit of our countries and people. There are many possibilities for Qatari business in India in sectors like infrastructure energy and fertilizers," she added.

Earlier, both India and Qatar signed agreements in the field of energy, culture, education, banking and finance, legal sector with an aim to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two nations.

India's Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy and Qatar's Energy Minister Mohammed Bin Saleh al-Sada inked agreements in the presence of /Emir Al-Thani and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The most important agreement was the one related to energy sector as India sought large import of the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar.

This is the third visit of the Emir to India, the last two being in 1999 and 2005.

India's relations with Qatar have been historically close and friendly. Qatar also hosts an Indian community of around 500,000 persons. (ANI)

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