The UK’s proposed investments — which indicate the global growing business interests in Qatar amidst the economic blockade imposed by the siege countries — was announced in London by HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, Minister of Economy and Commerce, after the inaugural meeting of the Joint Economic and Trade Commission (Jetco).
The meeting decided that both sides agreed to establish a business advisory council for the private sector that brings together five businessmen from each country. The council would submit periodic reports on the development and promotion of bilateral economic and trade relations in line with private sector social responsibility commitments.
The first meeting not only sought to strengthen cooperation in the banking services and between the central banks but also decided to hold the second meeting in Doha next year.
Discussions also touched on infrastructure development and the promotion of public private partnership, whereby both sides agreed to share knowledge and experiences in this regard. Both sides also agreed to cooperate in the fields of small and medium-sized enterprises, food security and healthcare.
The UK was side represented by Greg Hands, Minister of State for Trade Policy. Other participants included Yousef bin Ali al-Khater, Qatar’s ambassador to the UK; Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassem bin Mohamed al-Thani, chairman of Qatar Chamber; Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser bin Khalid al-Thani, board member of the Qatari Businessmen Association; along with officials from Qatar’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Investment Authority, Public Works Authority, Qatar Development Bank, and The Economic Zones Company (Manateq).
“Global and regional uncertainties on both the economic and political fronts have led to considerable challenges for even the most developed economies around the world over the past few years. However, Qatar has managed to weather these challenges and cement its position as one of the strongest regional economies,” Sheikh Ahmed said.
Qatar has expanded its international trade network, using Hamad Port to launch new shipping routes to additional countries around the world, thus cementing its position as a regional logistics hub, he said.
The minister highlighted that 79 British companies with a capital of more than QR8bn, and 672 Qatari-British companies, are currently operating in the engineering, consulting, contracting, IT, commerce and services sectors in Qatar. Additionally, 35 British companies are licensed and fully operational under the umbrella of the Qatar Financial Centre.
“Qatar looks forward to building on these special ties to bolster bilateral trade and enhance cooperation across an array of sectors, most notably logistics services, information technology, telecommunications, and agriculture sectors,” said Sheikh Ahmed.