Posted on April 17, 2018

As Qatar progresses towards its bold National Vision 2030 plan for a more diversified, knowledge-based and sustainable economy, there are boundless opportunities for technology pioneers and innovators to play a leading role in the country’s economic development.

That was the message from the keynote address on day two of the inaugural Qatar India Business and Investment Conference (QIBIC), organised by the Indian Business & Professionals Council (IBPC) in Qatar, and Reach Events, in collaboration with the Indian Embassy in Qatar. The agenda-setting forum was created to explore new and innovative ways of building on a history of positive bilateral diplomacy between the two nations and fostering entrepreneurship. Mr. TV Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education India @2030, delivered the keynote address ‘How tech entrepreneurs will create a USD10 trillion economy’ on the second day of the summit at Rotana City Center Doha.

The keynote address was followed by a thought-leading panel discussion titled ‘Technology and Innovation’, focusing on the latest trends boosting technology and innovation in Qatar. Moderated by Ms. Maha Al-Sulaiti from Qatar National Bank, the discussion session involved high-caliber luminaries including Mr. Sanjay Jain: Chief Innovation Officer- Center for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship IIM Ahmedabad; and Mr. Visham Sikand- Founder, Goals 101. The final session of the two-day conference, ‘Infrastructure: New Tides of Opportunity’ attended by Mr. Sujoy Bose, CEO, National Investment & Infrastructure Fund of India, NIIF who gave a keynote speech. Mr Bose was then joined by panelists from Qatar National Bank Group (QNB) to discuss the possibilities for investors in both Qatar and India.

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In his keynote speech Mr. Bose focused on the importance of infrastructure and that all the technologies have to depend on good infrastructure services so it can flourish and this creates so many opportunities for countries. He confirmed that infrastructures has only started to develop properly three decades ago and the quality of maturity in decision making on infrastructure started improving. The event concluded with an address from HE P. Kumran, Indian Ambassador to Qatar, in which he outlined the successful first staging of QIBIC, and with an inspiring speech by Mr. Ali Ibrahim Abdullah Al-Malki, Independent Director, Board of Directors, Doha Bank who focused on the importance of Qatar-India relations which both need to explore more each other’s capabilities and formalize the bilateral relations.

HE P. Kumran, Indian Ambassador to Qatar said concluding the first edition of Qatar India Business and Investment Conference (QIBIC): “It is the first time an Investment and Business Conference happens between the Embassy and IPBC, and we were very happy with the quality of panel discussions and speakers from Qatar and India as well as the type of participation from the business community which encourages us to hold this conference again in the future. We were also fortunate with the attendance of HE MJ Akbar who inaugurated this conference and raised the profile of the event.”

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The recommendations that emanated from the conference included:

  • IBPC to compile data on all Indian companies in Qatar to expand partnerships.
  • Enhance links in the sector of banking.
  • Qatar to develop LNG market in India to further enhance demand.
  • Expand projects in terms of railways, energy, infrastructure and more between both countries.
  • Qatar and India to jointly work to advance economy, trade and investments in both countries
  • Taking the conversation forward to reach opportunities to grow together.
  • New visa regulations, the permanent residency scheme are a good way to support more investments.
  • Embark on a more proper and formalized plan for relations with India.
  • Enhance tourism to India from Qatar and education in Qatar from India.
  • Formally recognize capabilities in each country.
  • Taking a delegation from Qatar to India to explore new business ventures.
  • Taking all the conference discussions forward and to higher levels.

Mr. Wahab Bou Hamdan, CEO of Reach said: “We are happy to see that this conference was successful and that it established a platform for discussing the importance of the Qatari and Indian business and investment relations. We will be working towards the second edition of this conference for next year to include more focus on the opportunities for the private sector and SMEs.”

Among the key sponsors and partners of this year’s event include QNB; Manateq, Milaha, Mowasalat, Coastal Group, Jet Airways, Parex, and Inter-Tech.

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