Growth in exports from India to Qatar estimated at more than 50% in 2017

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) There has been a substantial growth in exports from India to Qatar since the economic blockade on this country by some of its Gulf neighbours and Egypt began more than 10 months ago, said Indian ambassador to Qatar P Kumaran.
In an interaction with journalists yesterday, the envoy said the growth in exports from India to Qatar is believed to be more than 50% in the last one year. He said complete figures and statistics of the trade would be made available only later this month, or early next month.
However, it is too early to say if the growth in exports is owing to the movement of the vessels carrying goods directly to Qatar, which used to call on another major port of the region. The concerned section at the embassy is evaluating the data and the final figures would be available shortly, added Kumaran.
'Only after the final figures are published would the embassy be able to tell whether there has been a growth in the total volume of India's exports to the Gulf region.
While replying to a query, the ambassador said India has been the third largest trade partner of Qatar, with the bilateral trade exceeding $9bn last year and in the wake of the developments since June 5, 2017, there has been a steady growth in the imports from India, especially of such goods as foodstuffs and construction materials.
'Our inquiries have found that there has been a spectacular rise in the exports of auto accessories and spare parts to Qatar in recent months, said the ambassador.
Since the beginning of the blockade, there has been regular shipping services between Mundra Port of India and Hamad Port.
Recently, the Hamad Port authorities announced the port hitting the one-million 20 TEU container mark since its formal opening on December 26, 2016. The officials had also informed that there was a remarkable growth in the volume of containers handled at the port between October 2017 and March 2018. While the number of containers handled between January 2017 and September 2017 averaged around 40,000 20TEU/month, the figure shot up to 100,000 TEUs/month between October 2017 and March 2018. A major bulk of such containers are believed to be from India, it is widely believed. Answering another question, the ambassador said it is not fair to conclude that no official business delegation is coming from India to Qatar since the last one year. 'To my knowledge at least two or three major delegations, sponsored by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) came in the last 18 months and more of such delegations are expected in coming months, said Kumaran.
Already there have been significantly higher levels of trade between India and Qatar all along and the business scenario here is very familiar to the companies in India, who have been in trade with Qatar, added the ambassador.

M J Akbar among top officials to participate in conference

The inaugural two-day Qatar India Business and Investment Conference (QIBIC), which will take place next week, is expected to see a galaxy of dignitaries, including India's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, M J Akbar.
The other expected Indian delegates are Mohandas Pai, founder/director of Infosys and chairman of Manipal Global Education Service; Sujoy Bose, chief executive of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund; and Nikhil Kumar, developer of the famous BHIM app and director of India Stack Initiative.
From the Qatari side, top officials from QNB, Milaha and Manateq are expected to participate.
QIBIC will take place on April 16 and 17 at Oryx Rotana City Center and is being held in association with Reach Events, a leading event management firm in Qatar and the Indian embassy in Doha.


Gulf Times

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