Qatar and the United Kingdom are strengthening their trade relations in the view of the UK’s exit from the EU.
Greater cooperation between the United Kingdom and Qatar would be a huge opportunity for both countries. This is the conclusion reached by both countries’ agents and diplomats gathered in a lunch organized in Doha by the Qatar Businessmen Association (QBA).
The event, which was hosted by the President of the QBA Sheik Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, was attending by both the British Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Chamber of British Commerce Liam Fox and the UK’s ambassador in Qatar, Ajay Sharma.
Exports between Britain and Qatar increased in 2015 by 16%, a sign of good economic relations between both countries. Ambassador Fox expressed the desire for these relations to continue being “durable”, and in the same vein intervened the host, Sheik Faisal, who considered it necessary “to pursue bilateral trade and enhance cooperation between the private sectors in both countries”.
It was also discussed at the meeting Brexit and its impact on the British economy. Ambassador Fox stressed the “stability of the British’ economic situation” despite initial negative forecasts. He stated that the incoming UK’s departure from the EU is not intending to alter the economic, political and security relations with its European partners.
But the British diplomat pointed out the UK’s purpose of becoming “a more open country” and to strengthen its relations with the Gulf countries because London is a strategic partner of these countries.
In this regard, British exports to the Gulf countries totaled more than £20,000 million pounds (€23,279 million euros). In particular, those aimed to Qatar increased in 2015 up to £2,600 million pounds (€3,026 million euros); an increase of 16% over 2014 while, in turn, in 2015 Qatari exports to the United Kingdom totaled £2,700 million pounds(€3,142 million euros), double than in 2014.
The Gulf countries and Qatari economies undoubtedly mean for the UK a safe haven for their capital and a shuttle for its businesses and investments in a time when British international relations are being redefined (or it will be soon) after leaving the European Union.
Del Canto Chambers‘ team both in Doha and London can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Del Canto Chambers’ Editorial Board