Press release

Government welcomes biggest ever Qatar-UK delegation to showcase global Britain

Birmingham today hosts the joint Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum.

  • Department for International Trade event in Birmingham to showcase UK’s world leading sectors from sport and cyber security
  • Qatari government will showcase and promote export opportunities for UK businesses in Qatar
  • Event demonstrates Government’s Plan for Britain to help us trade beyond Europe and make Britain a leading advocate for free trade across the world

The International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox will today welcome the biggest ever Qatar-UK delegation to Birmingham, to showcase a Global Britain that is outward looking and embraces the world.

As part of the Government’s Plan for Britain to help the country trade beyond Europe, Birmingham today hosts the joint Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum, where UK firms will showcase high-profile ‘investment-ready’ projects including in areas like sport, cyber-security and healthcare. 

The Forum is expected to result in a number of new landmark agreements amounting to multi-billion pound investment across the UK, including for the Midlands Engine.

The event will bring together Ministers and senior government representatives from Qatar and the UK including the International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox and the Minister of Finance His Excellency Ali Shareef Al-Emadi. Hundreds of high-profile businesses executives, council leaders and academics are also expected to attend.

The Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox said:

The Government’s Plan for Britain will help us trade beyond Europe and make Britain a leading advocate for free trade across the world, as we build on our relationships with old friends and new allies.

Hosting this event in Birmingham ensures the whole country benefits including the Midlands Engine, creating jobs and supporting cities, towns and communities right across the United Kingdom.

Qatar is already the UK’s third largest export market in the Middle East and also accounts for £35 billion of existing investment in the UK. Bilateral trade is valued at more than £5 billion per year and the relationship between the 2 countries continues to go from strength to strength.

Today’s delegation will be the first of many events that will help cement Britain at the heart of global trade. British companies will show why they are ideally placed to use their expertise to help Qatar deliver a successful 2022 FIFA World Cup and realise the Qatar 2030 national vision.

Yesterday in London Liam Fox announced a doubling of UK Export Finance to support trade with Qatar by up to £4.5 billion, that will be an additional £2.25 billion to support UK companies exporting to Qatar and for their Qatari buyers in both the public and private sectors.

Dr Fox also signed a new Memorandum of Understanding creating the first Joint Economic and Trade Committee to further ties between the 2 countries as they explore the opportunities available.

The Prime Minister has made building on existing links between the UK and the Gulf a priority. On her visit to the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) in Bahrain in December last year the Prime Minister expressed her commitment to a true partnership between the UK and Qatar encompassing security and defence as well as trade.

Notes to editors

The Qatar 2030 National Vision creates significant potential for the future as Qatar’s social and economic development plan for the coming years. It seeks to build a bridge between the present and the future and aims to propel Qatar forward by diversifying its economy away from oil and gas, and focusing on social, environmental and human development.

At the forum on Tuesday 28 March, a range of Memorandums of Understanding will be signed between ministers, high ranking government officials and business leaders in areas from healthcare to infrastructure.

Published 28 March 2017