HE the Prime Minister Inaugurates the Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum


London, March 27 - HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani inaugurated on Monday at Grosvenor House Hotel in London, the Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum, which is held over two days in London and Birmingham.

            During his opening speech HE the Prime Minister stressed that the forum confirms the historic bilateral relations between Qatar and UK in all fields and all aspects whether on an official level or on a business level. 

            HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani gave a speech at the opening of the forum and conveyed the condolences of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to the families of the victims of a terrorist attack that took place recently in the United Kingdom. His Highness stressed Qatar's support to all measures the UK will take to combat terrorism and maintain the security and stability of the United Kingdom. 

            HE the Prime Minister highlighted the long history that Britain and Qatar have in the field of oil and gas exploration in the Arabian Gulf region. His Excellency noted that Britain played a key role in developing the oil and gas industry in the region in general, and Qatar in particular. HE the Prime Minister also highlighted the distinguished role British businesses play in other sectors such as trade, tourism, and financial services. 

            HE the Prime Minister said that the United Kingdom remained Qatar's preferred investment destination, particularly the real estate sector. London is also the favorite tourist destination for Qatari tourism, His Excellency added. Qatar is also one of the biggest exporters of LNG to the UK, which His Excellency said helps secure and diversify the kingdom's energy sources. 

            HE the Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani noted that the United Kingdom is now looking to bolster its strategic ties in all fields. Qatar for its part, HE the Prime Minister added, was entering an important phase in the implementation of the programs and projects that would help realizing Qatar National Vision 2030. His Excellency said that the country has finished the first phase, which is National Development Strategy 2011–2016 and is entering the second phase from 2017-2022. These plans will help the State of Qatar build a diversified economy that is not reliant on natural resources, but rather knowledge based. 

            One of the priorities, HE the Prime Minister said, was to transform Qatar into an international hub for knowledge-based and innovative industries. Qatar is also looking to expand its partnerships in the field of education, health, sports, and security.

            In concluding the speech, HE the Prime Minister said that the sessions that will take place in the forum over the next two days will help place a joint vision for enhancing bilateral cooperation. 

            For his part, UK Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade Liam Fox said that UK and Qatar can cooperate to face challenges of the this century, stressing the importance of supporting bilateral relations to upgrade the current partnership to the level of friendship. 

            In a speech during the opening of Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum, Secretary Fox said that this is the best time to invest in Britain, especially as it prepares to exit the European Union and seeks to strengthen its old partnerships and build new ones. 

            He underlined the need to recognize the transformative role played by the State of Qatar in the renaissance witnessed by the British capital in various fields and sectors. 

            He also pointed out that the volume of Qatari investments in the UK, estimated at GBP 35 billion, reflects this record of bilateral relations. He also pointed to the role of British companies in supporting the Qatari economy and the important role they plays in the construction of the facilities for the World Cup, Qatar 2022. 

            Secretary Fox said that his country and Qatar have the necessary skills to help each other, pointing out that they stand facing a future of opportunities, which can be fully utilized to achieve a better tomorrow for both countries.