Doha and London have long maintained strong diplomatic, defence and economic ties.
Qatar and the UK signed two business agreements as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen trade and investment between the two countries, the British government announced on Wednesday.
The agreements were signed at the third UK-Qatar Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) in London, attended by Qatar’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani and British Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena.
“Qatar is an important trade and investment partner for Britain. I believe we should nurture and maximise the strength of our relationship to make our economies more resilient and prosperous,” said Jayawrdena.
One agreement was signed between the Department for International Trade (DIT) and Qatar’s Investment Promotion Agency, aimed at enabling the entry of British businesses to the Gulf state’s market.
Under the deal, companies will receive information on investment opportunities in Qatar as well as guidance to enter the country’s market.
The other agreement was signed between the UK Export Finance (UKEF) and Qatar Development Bank, entailing the sharing of expertise on export finance in an effort to boost bilateral trade.
Qatari and British companies will also share expertise on insurance products and cooperation on projects.
“We are committed to taking steps to further deepen the trade and investment relationship we share with Qatar, and today’s JETCO signals our ambition through two significant agreements,” added the British minister.
According to the UK government, next year’s JETCO meeting will take place in Doha, organised by Qatar’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The meetings come following the launch of discussions on a free trade agreement signed between the GCC and the UK in June.
The overall trade ties between the GCC and the UK reached £32.4 billion in 2020 alone, with Doha being London’s third-largest Gulf trading partner
Qatar and the UK have long maintained strong diplomatic, defence and economic ties.
With the 2022 World Cup around the corner, Doha and London have announced major cooperation to ensure the Gulf state hosts a safe sporting event.
Last year, Qatar and UK defence officials discussed joint security for the World Cup, with the allies taking part in the ‘Watan’ exercise to test the preparation for the tournament.
Bilateral defence ties were further strengthened in May during the visit of Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the UK.
Soon after, London announced it would be providing air policing during the much-anticipated World Cup in Qatar – marking the first such time that Britain provides this level of security to a World Cup held outside the UK.
The Joint Typhoon Squadron, also known as 12 Squadron, is the UK’s first joint squadron since World War II and will be in charge of counter-terrorism operations.
The UK-based Typhoon squadron is headquartered at the Royal Air Force Coningsby in Lincolnshire, and has regularly trained in Qatar since its creation as a combined squadron in July 2018.