Qatar set to invest £10 billion in UK

Qatar and the UK have reached a new Strategic Investment Partnership deal that will see the Gulf state invest up to $12.5 million (£10 billion) in the British economy over the next five years.

Number 10 PM Boris Johnson meets Amir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

24/05/2022. London, United Kingdom. PM Boris Johnson meets Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Prime Minister Boris Johnson chairs a bilateral meeting inside No10 Downing Street with Amir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

The agreement, which covers areas including including fintech, zero emission vehicles, life sciences and cyber security, was signed in Downing Street during a visit by the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also confirmed that Qatari nationals would be able to access the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation system from early next year, facilitating easier travel for business visitors and tourists.

Trade between the UK and Qatar was worth £4.8 billion last year and Qatari investment in the UK economy is already estimated to be worth more than £40 billion.

New trade between both countries is set to be a vote of confidence for the UK

Mr Johnson described the sealing of the new investment deal as "another vote of confidence in the UK’s brilliant businesses and cutting-edge industry".

He added: "The new UK-Qatar Strategic Investment Partnership will create quality job opportunities across the country in key sectors, delivering on our vision of economic growth through trade and investment.

"Qatar is a valued partner for the UK, supported by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad’s leadership.  We had a rich discussion on the issues that matter to both of our countries, including boosting the economy, ensuring regional stability and improving energy security following Russia’s appalling invasion of Ukraine."

The investment is set to cover the British exconomy for the next 5 years

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said the investments would be channelled through the $450 billion Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) over the next five years.

“We hope this will bring a big deal of opportunities to the UK and Qatar in the near future, especially in the areas of technology, fintech, and sustainability,” said Sheikh Mohammed, who is also chairman of the QIA. “There’s great potential with zero-net happening,” he added, referring to the UK commitment to cut net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

During this week's visit, the Qatari delegation also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK on energy cooperation, intended to boost innovation and collaboration to support the security of global energy supplies. Qatar currently supplies 40 per cent of the UK's liquefied natural gas.
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UK Secretary of State for Business and Energy, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: "I am delighted to further the UK’s energy cooperation with the State of Qatar as we work to stabilise international energy markets and boost energy security in the context of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

"Qatar is already a valued trading partner, recently investing in the future of British low-carbon nuclear technology through the Rolls Royce consortium developing small modular reactors. Today’s meeting will deepen our relationship even further, reinforcing the UK’s energy security and delivering cleaner and affordable energy in the years ahead."

Read more news and views from David Sapsted in the Spring 2022 issue of Think Global People.

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