Qatar, Nov 10: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has arrived in Qatar capital Doha on a two-day official visit. Dr Singh was received by Qatar's Deputy Foreign Minister, Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud at Qatar International Airport on Sunday, Nov 9. He will meet his counterpart Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor al Thani on Monday, Nov 10 for delegation level talks. India and Qatar enjoy close ties at the political level and share common views and perceptions on a host of bilateral, regional and international issue. The large Indian expatriate population acts as a catalyst for enhancing ties between two countries.
Both countries are expected to sign a defence and a security agreement during Dr Singh's visit. Petroleum Minister Murli Deora has joined the Indian delegation and an agreement on oil and gas cooperation is also on the anvil.
Qatar's average oil production is 840000 barrels per day. The emphasis at present is on exploiting Qatar's massive gas reserves of 900 trillion cu ft -the third largest in the world.
These reserves will be sufficient to support the planned production of natural gas for over 200 years.
Earlier, a Memorandum of Understating (MoU) was signed between India's largest bank, the State Bank of India (SBI) and the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of Sultanate of Oman, to set up the India-Oman Joint Investment Fund.
The fund will be set up with an initial capital of 100 million dollars, which will be later expanded to 1.5 billion dollars. It will be utilised in financing various projects in the fields of tourism, infrastructure, health, telecom and urban infrastructure in either country. By Pankaj Chaudhry