The Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) has organised a business meeting with Sir Edward Lister, Chief Strategic Advisor to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, it was announced in a statement on Saturday.
QBA chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani met with Lister in the presence of British ambassador Jon Wilks. The meeting “was the first foreign trade delegation to visit Doha during the health crisis.”
“This confirms the strength of the bilateral relations between the State of Qatar and the UK, and confirms that it is a strategic investment and commercial partner for Qatar,” the QBA statement stressed.
The meeting was also attended by QBA first deputy chairman Hussain Alfardan, and board members Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser, Sherida al-Kaabi, and Saud al-Mana, as well as QBA deputy general manager Sarah Abdallah.
During the meeting, Sheikh Nawaf stressed the need to discuss the establishment of trade agreements that support commercial activities between Qatar and the UK, such as the double taxation agreement that Qatar has with other countries like France.
This would support the growth of the volume of the Qatar-UK bilateral trade, said Sheikh Nawaf, who spoke about the need to encourage British SMEs to explore the Qatari market. He also stressed the role of the British government in supporting SMEs so they can co-operate with Qatari businessmen and work in the Qatari market.
Sheikh Faisal lauded the strong bilateral and historical relations between Qatar and the UK, and stressed the necessity of continuing to follow up on the progress of the economic relations between the two countries and work to develop them even in light of the pandemic.
The QBA chairman also pointed out the importance of the UK to Qataris and businessmen, “as England is their first investment destination, especially in the real estate sector.”
Qatari students prefer the UK for their studies, while Qataris considering England as their first touristic destination, he said.
Alfardan emphasised the importance of increasing the presence of British companies in Doha and to create new partnerships with the British embassy, as well as the need to increase the volume of trade exchange between the two countries, which grew by “20%,” according to Wilks.
According to Lister, the British government is currently developing new legislation and re-enacting many laws, especially those that were related to the EU, to facilitate many procedures and create more flexibility for cooperation.
He stressed the commitment of the UK to work closely with Qatar and the Qatari private sector to develop economic cooperation between the two countries, especially after Brexit and setting its own trade policies.
Lister also emphasised the British government’s interest in encouraging British companies to launch outside the UK, and to find global partnerships and invest in foreign markets, currently marketing the term ‘Global Britain’.
At the end of the meeting, Sheikh Faisal and QBA board members stressed their keenness to visit England soon and supporting all efforts made to increase cooperation between the two countries.
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