Posted on December 06, 2015

Doha Bank hosted a Business meet with the support of  the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on “Bilateral Opportunities between India, Qatar and Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC)” on 3rd December 2015 at ITC Maurya Hotel, New Delhi.The session witnessed participation from Key dignitaries and  from various Corporates from National Capital Region (NCR).

Dr. Naresh Trehan, Chairman-CII Healthcare Council welcomed the gathering and gave an account of the evolution of the GCC over the years, the historical trade ties that existed between India and GCC countries over the several decades, the contribution to the expatriate segment to create and improve the infrastructure in these economies. He also updated the audience on the various areas that we can work together in infrastructure building on the back drop of the FIFA event in 2022 and Expo event in 2020.

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister for Indian Railways commented on the evolution of the GCC countries over the years and the use of Hydro-carbon to propel the economies over the last few decades. He also discussed the impact of the reduction of Oil and gas prices, the consequent need for the diversification of the GCC economies and a result India can be the ideal natural partner with all GCC economies. This will require several trillions of funding for various large scale Investment projects which in turn can provide a long standing return on the investments in viable projects for the GCC Sovereign wealth funds. This will also prove to be a good diversification for these large sovereign wealth funds who is looking for such ventures.

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On the Special Address, Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on Indian economy. He said “According to recent IMF forecast, Indian economy is expected to grow by 7.3 percent in 2015- 16.  India growth at 7.4% in July – September 2015 during the quarter on the back of strong growth in manufacturing, trade, hotels, transport & communication services. The Reserve Bank of India this week had kept the key repo rate unchanged at 6.75 per cent in its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy review. The cash reserve ratio (CRR) or the amount of deposits banks  park with RBI has also been unchanged at 4 per cent. The drop in oil price could  ease the pressure on India’s current account deficit and  fiscal deficit. India’s foreign direct investment was more than $32 billion in the year ended Sept 2015.India is working on measures to make the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy more progressive and increase India's attractiveness as an investment destination. NCR  is home to major companies in manufacturing, service , IT and IT enabled services (ITES) and has one of India’s leading automotive clusters. It is also India’s retail capital with largest number of shopping malls and favoured destination for luxury retailers. "

Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Qatar economy He said “Qatar’s economy is expected to grow by more than 4.7 percent in 2015. Qatar’s GDP rose 4.8 percent in the second quarter of 2015, helped by robust growth in construction, financial services and hospitality sectors. Qatar has been ranked 14th in the competitiveness index by World Economic Forum.Qatarhas established the economic zones company “Manateq” to develop and operate three special economic zones that provide infrastructure in accordance with the highest international standards in order to reach new levels of economic diversity and promote the growth of the small and medium-sized companies and private sector. The upcoming economic zone ‘Um Al Houl Special Economic Zone‘s first phase of development will commence in 2016. In Qatar sectors such as Construction, transport and water will witness significant activity in the upcoming years to support its non-hydrocarbon diversification.Indian companies can look forward to explore opportunities in this segment. Qatar‘s economic model is sustainable on account of non- hydrocarbon diversification. The industrial sector of Delhi-NCR holds great prominence in the Indian SME landscape. Indian SME Companies in the NCR region in Segments such as Apparels manufacturers, fabrication, food processing, IT/ITES and suppliers for manufacturing can explore Qatar market.”

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Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted on major bilateral relationships with India. He said “The bilateral trade between Qatar and India in 2014-15 is close to US$ 16 bn. The overall trade between GCC and India in 2014-15 is over US$ 133bn.Qatar is the largest supplier of LNG to India. There is a large market for Qatar’s LNG, oil and petrochemical sectors in India. In May 2013 Qatar bought a 5% stake in Indian telecom company Bharti Airtel Ltd for $1.26bn. Many Indian Companies such as L&T, Tata Projects, Voltas and PunjLlyod have been actively participating in the various projects Qatar.”

In the vote of thanks, Ganesan Ramakrishnan, AGM and Head  of International Banking informed the Indian corporates about the full range of banking services provided by Doha Bank in India, its ability to bridge the investors from GCC countries including  Sovereign wealth funds, the Indian Industries and major  investment projects. Doha Bank has its full fledged presence in Doha, Dubai, Abu dhabi, Kuwait and India besides its expanded network of global representation in Europe, Asia, North America and African continent.