(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Joel Johnson |
Doha, Qatar: The UK continues to rank among the most sought-after destinations for investment by Qatari individuals, families, and business leaders.
In an exclusive interview with The Peninsula, Emad Turkman MBE, Chairman of the Qatar British Business Forum (QBBF) and CEO of Rumaillah Group praised the ongoing trade agreements between Qatar and the UK, emphasising the eagerness of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to bolster their investments in the UK.
Turkman stated,“In terms of trade, it goes back a long time and is progressing, and there are more to come, literally because QIA is very keen to enhance their investment in the UK. They already have major stakes and substantial investments in the UK, but trust me - this is just the beginning.”
The bilateral business relations between Qatar and the UK date back to 1971 when the two nations collaborated to revitalise their economies, a partnership that has endured for over five decades.
Reflecting on this robust 50-year relationship, Turkman outlined that through the years, the countries witnessed numerUK trade deals and defence teams established in Qatar.
Despite London maintaining its staas a prime destination for Qatari investors, Turkman highlighted the rapid surge in investments in other cities. He noted,“Two upcoming areas for Qatari investors are Birmingham and Manchester, and a significant amount of investments are in the pipeline for these cities. Birmingham is the second-largest city in the UK after London, and Manchester ranks third. Thus, there is a considerable movement by major organisations to relocate from central London to Birmingham and Manchester.” Read Also
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He stressed that it's not just the government but also Qatari individuals and families who have made substantial investments in the UK. Turkman remarked,“Many high-net-worth Qataris have properties in the UK, so they spend a significant amount of time there. They are keen to expand their investments in the UK, so we are very optimistic about what the future holds.”
The Qatar British Business Forum, established nearly 31 years ago, at present has over 300 members, and anticipates significant growth in the years ahead. The Chairman expressed enthusiasm for the increasing number of members within the organisation.
In the upcoming months, QBBF is expected to carry out a series of proactive programs and initiatives to encourage and attract the increased eligible membership, led by both Amanda Shaw, Head of Corporate Accounts, and Kat Milano, Head of Marketing and Events.
In addition to that, following the success of recently held sporting events, QBBF anticipates more events, including a 'five-a-side football tournament' sponsored by Kings College Doha and a 'Golfing Tournament' sponsored by the real estate group, Cushman & Wakefield. Turkman added,“Our community has a strong interest in sporting events, and we are likely to host another shooting event due to the tremendsuccess of the last one.”
In the broader context of the UK-Qatar trading relationship, the data underscores the significance of their economic ties. According to reputable economic sources, such as the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Qatar's Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar has consistently ranked among the UK's top trading partners in the Middle East. Read Also
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In recent years, the bilateral trade volume has soared, reaching substantial figures. For instance, according to Gov.UK Department of Business & Trade, total UK exports to Qatar amounted to £5.6bn (QR25.57bn) in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2023, with key exports including vehicles, machinery, and pharmaceuticals, while imports from Qatar, mainly comprising gas and petroleum products, reached around £7.9bn (QR36.07bn).
Furthermore, Qatar's investments in the UK have surged significantly over the past decade, with the Qatar Investment Authority leading the way. According to Gov.UK, in May 2022, the UK and Qatar signed a new Strategic Investment Partnership (SIP) which will see Qatar invest up to £10bn (QR45.66bn) from 2022 to 2027 in key sectors of the UK economy, including fintech, zero-emissions vehicles, life sciences, and cyber security.
These figures highlight the enduring economic partnership between the two nations, reaffirming the mutual commitment to fostering further growth and prosperity in their trade and investment relations.