Minister of Economy and Commerce H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, announced yesterday that the first meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee on Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation between Qatar and the United Kingdom has reached an agreement with the British side to fund investment projects within Qatar worth £4.5bn (QR21bn). The meeting was held in the city of London. He said this important agreement reflects the confidence of the British side in the strength of the Qatari economy.
The Minister expressed his pleasure to participate in the first meeting of the Committee as it is the culmination of the historical relations between Qatar and the United Kingdom, pointing out that the meeting reflects the keenness of both countries to strengthen bilateral cooperation.
He highlighted the economic situation of Qatar, stressing that global and regional changes have imposed important economic and political challenges over the past years and have affected the world’s major economies. However, Qatar has been able to meet these challenges and strengthen its position as one of the strongest regional economies and among the most promising economies at the global level.
Speaking about the relations between Qatar and the United Kingdom, the Minister said that the two countries have strong historical ties, which reflected positively on the commercial and investment sectors. He added that the United Kingdom is the Ninth biggest trading partner of Qatar. The volume of trade exchange between the two countries was about QR 11.6bn in 2016.
On the investment side, he stressed the UK’s position as an important investment partner for Qatar, where the number of British companies operating in the Qatari market reached about 79 companies with a total capital of QR8.1bn.
The number of British -Qatari companies with a combined capital is 672 companies engaged in the fields of engineering consultancy, contracting, information technology, trade and services, adding that the number of British companies operating in the Qatari market and licensed by the Qatar Financial Center reached about 35 companies.
The Minister expressed hope to benefit from the meeting to increase the volume of trade exchange between the two countries and discuss means of enhancing cooperation in many sectors, the most important of which are the logistics sector, the ICT sector and the agriculture sector as well as industrial sector in order to benefit from the British experience in the field of establishing small and medium joint industrial projects.
The Minister said that Qatar is one of the largest producers and exporters of natural gas in the world and has the largest liquefied natural gas fleet in the world, and the State is working to raise the production capacity of LNG from 77 million tonnes annually to 100 million tons per year, equivalent to an increase in production by 30 percent.
The Minister reviewed the characteristics of Hamad Port and its role in developing direct commercial lines with a number of strategic ports around the world, which strengthened Qatar’s position as an important trading centre in the region. He added that Hamad International Airport has contributed to maintaining passenger and cargo traffic at a normal pace to more than 150 Destination around the world.
Sheikh Ahmed highlighted the advantages of the investment environment of Qatar. He pointed out that recently, several laws and regulations had been issued to enhance the competitiveness of the national economy and provide important incentives for foreign investors to encourage them to establish projects in the state.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar