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Qatar boosts small business with easy funds

India’s small and medium scale sector have ample opportunities in Qatar where they can participate in the oil-rich Gulf nation’s non-hydrocarbon diversification programme, CEO of Doha Bank R. Seetharaman has said.“We want Indian SMEs to come to Qatar and also facilitate their investments.

A significant attraction for Indian SMEs to do business in Gulf is ease of getting funds at rates far cheaper that what it costs in India,” he said.

He said that SMEs form the backbone of Qatar’s economy and they can participate in Qatar’s non-hydrocarbon diversification. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in India could take advantage of availing cheap credit from Doha Bank as 87 per cent of its lending is guaranteed by the Qatar government, Mr Seetharaman said at a recent knowledge sharing session in Kolkata on opportunities in Qatar and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Mr Seetharaman also said the overall exports of the GCC to India have decreased by 17 per cent while the overall bilateral trade has fallen by 11 per cent.

He said that the imports of the GCC from India have increased by 2 per cent in 2014-15 when compared to previous year at $49 billion. “Overall trade to India has decreased by 11 per cent in 2014-15 when compared to previous year over $133 billion. Qatar-India trade was close to $16 billion in 2014-15,” he said.

“It grew by more than 4 per cent during the first quarter of this year as compared with the same quarter last year. Construction was leading sector in terms of growth with gross value added growing at more than 11 per cent in the first quarter when compared to same time previous year,” Mr Seetharaman said.

The non-mining and quarrying segment had grown by close to nine per cent in the first quarter of 2015 when compared to same period previous year on account of diversification, he added.

Construction sector is expected to witness a double digit growth this year, thereby support non-hydrocarbon sector diversification, he said. The member states of GCC are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.