January 8th - 2017 Economics News – Gulf Times
United Kingdom’s Chancellor of The Exchequer Philip Hammond has highlighted the importance of Qatar Business and Investment Forum, which will be held in London and Birmingham in March this year.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Hammond underlined that the upcoming forum, which has been planned for nearly nine months, would contribute to further promoting the economic relations between the United Kingdom and the State of Qatar, and explore more investment opportunities in both countries.
Meanwhile, Hammond highlighted the distinct and solid relations between Qatar and the United Kingdom in all sectors, including economy, security and defence.
He pointed to HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s meeting with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May on the sidelines of the 37th GCC Summit in Bahrain last December, which he said contributed to strengthening the relations between the two countries.
He added that his visit to Doha, in the course of his current tour of a number of GCC countries, aimed at discussing future co-operation opportunities between Qatar and the UK, especially after Brexit.
He said that his GCC tour also aims to follow up the developing relations between the two sides, and to affirm to the UK partners in the region that Brexit would not negatively affect his country, or its co-operation and partnerships with the GCC countries in the fields of security, defence, trade and investment.
Highlighting the Qatari investments in the United Kingdom, the chancellor of the exchequer said there are opportunities for Qatar Investment Authority and for the Qatari private sector.
Meanwhile, there are a variety of British investments in Qatar in different fields, the most important of which are the investments of “Shell” which exceed $20bn, in addition to nearly 600 British companies operating in the country.
He noted that trade exchange between the two countries exceeds 5bn pounds a year, which is balanced in terms of exports and imports, adding that Qatar’s ongoing plans to diversify the economy would allow more opportunities to increase the volume of trade, especially with regard to the services sector such as healthcare, education, professional services, technology and financial services.
He added that Qatari businessmen have good opportunities to expand their investments in the United Kingdom, expressing hope that the upcoming Qatar Business and Investment Forum would contribute to further promoting the economic relations between the two sides.
On the mutual co-operation in the financial services, he said that many Qatari banks are currently operating in the British market, allowing them to benefit from the experience of “one of the world’s largest financial systems”, and well as the financial sector experts in London which is one of the largest financial capitals in the world.