- Trade in goods between Qatar and UK grew in 2021 to reach 4.54 billion USD recording a 51.4% increase compared to 2020
- The UK is the seventh-largest trading partner of Qatar
Doha – Wednesday, August 24, 2022:
His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al-Thani, Minister of Commerce and Industry, and His Excellency Mr. Ranil Jayawardena, Minister for International Trade in the United Kingdom, chaired the third session of the Qatar-UK Joint Economic & Trade Committee, held in London.
The third Joint Committee saw the attendance of H.E. Fahd bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United Kingdom, along with representatives of several stakeholders, including the Qatar Investment Authority, the Investment Promotion Agency, and the Qatar Development Bank.
At the outset of his opening speech, His Excellency the Minister of Commerce and Industry stressed that the topics discussed in the meeting reflected the depth of bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as their determination to advance the prospects for cooperation in all fields, including trade, investment, and commercial partnership.
The visit by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani earlier this year displays the close bilateral relationship shared between Qatar and the United Kingdom, H.E. noted.
The bilateral relations are founded on both nations’ shared values and mutual interests as evidenced by the strong growth in bilateral investments and trade, which positions the UK as one of Qatar’s leading strategic partners, H.E. said, pointing out that trade in goods between the two countries grew in 2021 to reach 4.54 billion USD recording a 51.4% increase compared to 2020. This makes the United Kingdom the seventh-largest trading partner of Qatar.
On the level of investments between the two countries, H.E. observed that More than 1,200 British companies are operating across various fields in Qatar.
Moreover, human capital plays a key role in supporting the national economy, considering that Qatar is home to 21,500 UK citizens, H.E. pointed out.
The UK is an attractive destination for Qatari investments in several strategic sectors, including real estate development, hospitality, healthcare, technology and other areas, H.E. stated in a related context.
H.E. welcomed the joint declaration earlier this year from the Gulf Cooperation Council and the UK, to launch negotiations toward the signing of a Free Trade Agreement.
Speaking about the Qatari economy, H.E. stressed that Qatar has successfully maintained progress toward achieving sustainable economic growth, owing to the strategic policies implemented by the nation’s leadership.
The Qatar National Vision 2030 seeks to build a knowledge-based economy that is both diversified and self-sustainable, H.E. pointed out, further explaining that the four pillars of the vision, namely Human, Social, Economic, and Environmental Development, provide an outlook on what Qatar seeks to achieve.
The State has devised policies that aim to create an economy that is open, attractive and facilitates commerce and investments, H.E. further explained.
In 2019, Qatar has implemented new legislation which allows for 100% foreign ownership of businesses, H.E. indicated. This comes alongside establishing multiple Industrial areas and Logistic zones such as Al Karaana Zone, Umm Alhoul Zone and others amounting to a cumulative of 162 square kilometres in industrial and logistic zones.
The newly developed Hamad Port, with its state-of-the-art infrastructure is currently handling over 1.5 million containers annually, with the capacity to handle over 7 million containers, H.E. added.
H.E. expressed his aspiration that the meeting would contribute to establishing solid mechanisms for bilateral coordination to advance both countries’ shared vision and promote their development objectives.
In this regard, H.E. stressed the need to conclude the ratification process of the Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between the State of Qatar and the United Kingdom to encourage bilateral investments from both nations’ public and private stakeholders.
His Excellency called on both sides to intensify efforts towards establishing a Joint Business Council between the Qatari and British Chambers of Commerce.
During the Committee’s proceedings, the two sides discussed the progress made in the recommendations of its second session, as well as the current projects and the expansion plans thereof.
The Joint Committee also tackled a number of issues related to enhancing economic, commercial, and investment cooperation between the two countries in various fields, including industry, agriculture, transportation, health, education, science, and technology.
The two sides agreed to take the necessary steps to move forward in consolidating trade and investment cooperation between the two countries to increase the volume of trade exchange between them, and to facilitate the flow of goods, services, and investments between the two countries.
In the conclusion of third session of Qatar-UK Joint Economic & Trade Committee, H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry, and H.E. Mr. Ranil Jayawardena signed the minutes of the meeting in addition to signing an MoU between Qatar Development Bank and the UK Export Finance, signed by Mr. Abdulrahman Hesham Al Sowaidi, Acting CEO of Qatar Development Bank, and Mr. Vomic Shah, Global Head of Origination at UK Export Finance (UKEF).