India expressing interest in importing additional liquefied natural gas from Qatar will further boost the trade between the countries, a senior banker has said.

“India will be one of the largest gas markets for Qatar apart from China. Cooperation in the power sector between India and Qatar is under deliberation. India has sought to purchase 2 million tonnes to 3 million tonnes of LNG from Qatar in addition to the 7.5 million tonnes it already imports from Ras Laffan,” Doha Bank Group CEO R Seetharaman told Gulf Times.

Trade between the two countries stood at $ 5.2 billion in 2010, he said.

He also said that the GCC-India trade, which stood at $ 118 billion in 2010-11, is expected to exceed $ 130 billion by 2013-14.

According to Mr. Seetharaman, India also purchased 4 million tonnes of oil from Qatar in 2010 while Qatari investment in India is mainly in the infrastructure sector. The Qatari side had highlighted its interest in getting access to the Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) disinvestments in India via the anchor investor route.

“With Qatar becoming the host for 2022 FIFA World Cup and massive investment likely in infrastructure, Indian companies with a global profile are planning to secure lucrative deals in the engineering, procurement and construction contracts (EPCs). Private Indian companies are looking for investment in Qatar,” Mr. Seetharaman told the newspaper.

Mr. Seetharaman said Doha Bank is currently awaiting a licence from the Reserve Bank of India to start operations.

Many Indian companies have active relationships in the Qatari market through partnerships, agencies and have set up their offices here. They include L&T, Tata Projects, Voltas, Dodsal and Punj Llyod. State Bank of India (SBI) has opened its branch at the Qatar Financial Centre.

“Since India is a country with one of the largest agricultural sectors, a huge market exists for fertilisers.

With Qatar being a major producer of fertilisers, there is ample business opportunity for both sides in the sector,” Mr. Seetharaman said.

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