The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Qatar for cooperation in Skill Develop-ment and Recognition of qualifications, for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism and for Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters.
The MoU for cooperation in Skill Development and Recognition of qualifications will facilitate work-force mobility, skill development and placement of youth in overseas jobs in Qatar.
Qatar is an emerging tourism source markets for India (India received approximately 6313 tourists from Qatar in 2015). Qatar is a potential market for India in terms of Medical tourism and provides vast opportunity for India in this field.
The signing of MoU with Qatar will be instrumental in increasing arrival from this emerging source market. The MoU for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism is being signed for attaining following objectives:
1. To create favourable conditions for long-term co-operation in the field of tourism for the mutual benefits.
2. To exchange expertise, publications, information, data and statistics related to tourism.
3. To encourage cooperation through the exchange of programmes, propaganda and advertis-ing materials, publications, films, promotion and marketing of their tourism products via media etc.
4. To exchange visits of Tour Operators or Media or Opinion Makers for promotion of two-way tourism.
5. To encourage co-operation between tourism sectors, tour operators, travel agents and oth-er tourism private sector's firms and bureaus in the two countries.
6. To encourage public and the private sectors to invest in tourism.
The Union Cabinet has also given its approval for signing and ratifying of an Agreement between India and Qatar on Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters. The Agreement aims to entering into a bilateral Agreement on co-operation Customs matters between India and Qatar.
The Agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investiga-tion of Customs offences. The Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries. Qatar is an important trading partner of India. Trade between the two countries has been expanding over the years.
In view of the steady growth in bilateral trade, it was felt imperative to provide a legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries to help in proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offences and to facilitate legitimate trade.
A draft text of the Agreement has been finalised after mutual discussions. It takes care of Indian Customs' concerns and requirements, particularly in the area of exchange of information on cor-rectness of the Customs value declared, the authenticity of certificates of origin of goods and the description of the goods traded between the two countries.