Press release

Qatar trade event underlines government commitment to an economy that works for all parts of uk

Joint ‘Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum’ on 27 and 28 March to secure investment across the UK.

  • Department for International Trade event in Birmingham to showcase UK’s world leading sectors from sport and cyber security to healthcare and education
  • Qatari government will showcase and promote export opportunities for UK businesses in Qatar
  • event is the latest demonstration of increasing trade ties between UK and Qatar

Two weeks today the governments of Qatar and the UK will hold the biggest business and investment forum ever between the 2 countries.

Birmingham and London are set to host the largest ever business delegation from Qatar as part of the government’s drive to create a Global Britain that works for all parts of the UK.

The first day of the forum will be held in London where Qatari businesses will showcase the opportunities that their diversifying economy offers to the UK.

Birmingham will host the second day of the joint Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum, where UK firms will showcase high-profile ‘investment-ready’ projects.

Both days are expected to result in a number of landmark agreements amounting to significant levels of new investment, potentially generating billions of pounds across the UK including for the Northern Powerhouse and 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 across the 2 days.

The Qatari Minister of Finance His Excellency Ali Shareef Al-Emadi said:

Qatar and the UK have a long and productive shared economic history and we will build on this partnership as the UK shapes a new role for itself in the world.

Our plan to forge a competitive knowledge economy is accelerating, providing new opportunities for UK businesses, while our plans for further investment in the UK will deliver job growth throughout the country.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

As a government we are clear that we want to build a stronger, fairer Britain where wealth and opportunity are spread across every community, not just in London and the South East. Hosting this event in Birmingham gives us the chance to show investors the untapped potential that exists in this and other parts of the country.

By making the UK a beacon for free trade around the world we are backing businesses to invest in the long-term future of Britain and creating the conditions for them to thrive.

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.

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 London conference, organised by the government of the State of Qatar, will consider the role of Qatar in the global economy and its emergence as a regional financial centre featuring panel discussions on investment, trade and private sector development, led by senior Qatari Ministers and business leaders. For more information contact

The Birmingham programme will include plenary key note speeches, panel sessions, live case-studies, roundtables and a main showcase together with contributions from senior Cabinet Ministers, key global business leaders and influential sector and market specialists.

More information on speakers and attendees, as well as accreditation for media, will be provided in due course.

A post event programme will be delivered for a smaller Qatari delegation by Birmingham City Council on 29 March to showcase investment and regeneration opportunities in the Birmingham area.

In 2015 total UK exports to Qatar totalled £2.6 billion, with Qatar exports to UK at £2.7 billion.

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.

In addition, the University of Birmingham will host an exclusive exhibition featuring an original manuscript from the Qur’an, dating back to the seventh century, one of the world’s oldest surviving examples of this holy work. Members of the Qatari and UK delegations will receive a private viewing and a new interactive digital form of the manuscript will also be on display for delegates to explore.

Published 13 March 2017