India on Sunday evinced interest in joint exploration of new oil and gas fields as well development of discovered assets in resource-rich Qatar as the two countries decided to focus on enhancing cooperation in the energy sector.
India also invited Qatar to invest in the country`s exploration and production sector by bidding for the blocks under the new `Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing` Policy and take part in disinvestment of Indian PSUs.
An MoU was signed with Qatar Investment Authority for facilitating Qatari investment in the Rs 40,000-crore National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.
India "highlighted the interest of its energy companies to pursue opportunities of mutual interest in Qatar, with Qatar Petroleum and other companies, in order to jointly explore new fields as well as development of discovered oil and gas assets and exploit the existing resources of natural gas and crude oil in Qatar," said a joint statement issued after wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
"The two sides agreed to focus on enhancing cooperation in energy, covering the areas of training and human resources development and cooperation in research and development and through promotion of joint ventures in petrochemical complexes and cooperation in joint exploration in India and other countries," the statement said.
India invited Qatar to participate in the second phase of the strategic reserves storage facility being created in India, the statement said.
The leaders also deliberated upon the need for strengthening bilateral cooperation in the financial services sector, including banking, insurance and capital markets.
"They decided to expand cooperation between the financial institutions of the two countries like Securities and Exchange Board of India and the respective central banks," the statement said.
Qatar is the largest supplier of LNG and LPG to India.
The two sides also discussed various avenues for Qatari investments in India, particularly in different asset classes and various infrastructure sectors as well as disinvestment of Indian PSUs.
The leaders agreed to increase the level of participation in infrastructure projects in both countries.
An MoU was also signed between Qatar Investment Authority and External Affairs Ministry for investment in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund between the two countries that would facilitate foreign investment from the gas-rich Gulf state, the statement said.
The two countries agreed on regular and timely exchange of information on available investment opportunities, it said.