Qatar to invest £10 billion in key industries in UK

British PM Boris Johnson and Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also discuss upcoming 2022 Qatar World Cup

By Prasun Sonwalkar

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Published: Tue 24 May 2022, 10:07 PM

Last updated: Tue 24 May 2022, 11:06 PM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday hosted Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, and the two leaders signed a new Strategic Investment Partnership that will see Doha invest up to £10 billion over the next five years in key sectors of the UK economy, including fintech, zero emissions vehicles, life sciences and cyber security.

A Downing Street spokesperson said Johnson and the Emir also had a wide-ranging discussion on geopolitical issues, including condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and discussed issues of regional security, including relations with Iran.

The Prime Minister and Emir discussed the upcoming 2022 Qatar World Cup this winter, and the UK committed significant new military and counter-terrorism support for the safe running of the event. A joint UK-Qatar Typhoon Squadron will provide additional air security, and the Ministry of Defence with advanced venue search training and operational planning support.

Johnson said: “Today’s announcement of up to £10 billion in new investment from our Qatari friends is another vote of confidence in the UK’s brilliant businesses and cutting-edge industry. The new UK-Qatar Strategic Investment Partnership will create quality job opportunities across the country in key sectors, delivering on our vision of economic growth through trade and investment”.

He added: “Qatar is a valued partner for the UK, supported by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad’s leadership. We had a rich discussion on the issues that matter to both of our countries, including boosting the economy, ensuring regional stability and improving energy security following Russia’s appalling invasion of Ukraine.”

Officials said the UK-Qatar trade was worth £4.8 billion last year and Qatari investment in the UK economy is already estimated to be worth over £40 billion.

Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone said: “It is excellent news that Qatar is targeting up to £10 billion investment into the UK through our new Strategic Investment Partnership. Not only will it boost local economies and support jobs, but it supports our green economy and decarbonisation – crucial in meeting our Net Zero targets. It also strengthens our relationship with Qatar ahead of our UK-Gulf Cooperation Council trade negotiations.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng also signed an MoU on energy cooperation with Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi at Downing Street. Qatar is a major energy supplier for the UK, providing 40% of its liquefied natural gas.

Kwarteng, said: “Qatar is already a valued trading partner, recently investing in the future of British low-carbon nuclear technology through the Rolls Royce consortium developing small modular reactors. Today’s meeting will deepen our relationship even further, reinforcing the UK’s energy security and delivering cleaner and affordable energy in the years ahead.”

The Prime Minister also confirmed that the UK will ensure Qatari nationals can access the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation system from early 2023, facilitating easier travel for business visitors and tourists.

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