The UK Minister of State for International Trade and Parliamentary Undersecretary Mr. Ranil Jayawardena

07 Jun 2021 QBA Office

QBA Members attended

The Qatari Businessmen Association organized a Business meeting with Mr. Ranil Jayawardena, UK Minister of State for International Trade and Parliamentary Undersecretary and his accompanying delegation, in the presence of Mr. Simon Penny, Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, on the sidelines of the minister second visit to Doha to discuss ways to support bilateral trade between the two countries.

From the Qatari Businessmen Association, the meeting was headed by Mr. Hussain Al Fardan – QBA First Deputy to the Chairman, Sheikh Dr. Khalid bin Thani Al Thani – QBA Second Deputy to the Chairman and from QBA board, Mr. Sherida Al Kaabi, Sheikh Hamad bin Faisal Al Thani, Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser Al Thani, Mr. Saud Al Mana, as well as Ms. Sarah Abdullah, QBA Deputy General Manager.

Mr. Hussain Al-Fardan began the meeting by welcoming the UK minister, stressing out the importance of official Trade missions at this stage to restore the markets normal routine and promote investment and trade exchange, pointing out to the depth of the historical relations between Qatar and the UK which extends to ancient historical roots.

For his part, Mr. Ranil Jayawardena, UK Minister of State for International Trade, expressed his government's aspiration for economic cooperation between the two countries, describing it as strategic cooperation, adding that it aims to build a sustainable partnership network with the Qatari private sector. He also spoke about the need to work closely with major organizations such as the Qatari Businessmen Association to attract The Qatari investor, providing him with possible investment opportunities and facilitating his investments.

During the discussion, Sheikh Khalid bin Thani Al Thani, QBA Second Deputy, highlighted the importance of the UK market to the Qatari investor and considering it one of the first investment and commercial destinations for Qatari businessmen, praising the legal infrastructure and ease of doing business in the United Kingdom. He also talked about the role of the Qatari Businessmen Association in introducing the investment climate in Qatar in various platforms, as well as encouraging Qatari businessmen and companies to explore foreign markets, stressing out that the importance of trade delegations in bridging the distance between Qatari businessmen and their counterparts from all countries.
The UK side also reviewed the plans of the United Kingdom towards economic diversification in the sectors of technology, industry and residential complexes, in addition to the direction to develop economic cities outside London and provide a package of incentives for foreign investors. QBA Members also discussed the situation of the United Kingdom, especially after leaving the European Union, where Mr. Ranil expressed his optimism about Britain's future after this step, saying, "The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union has created unlimited economic and trade prospects." He also added during the discussion that Qatari businessmen are the Kingdom's partners in the Gulf, and that the United Kingdom is looking forward to cooperating with businessmen to attract more investment and increase business cooperation.
QBA Members also discussed the procedures related to Covid 19, stressing the importance of facilitating the procedures for Qataris to enable them to follow up on their investments in the United Kingdom. Sheikh Hamad bin Faisal pointed out the importance of the United Kingdom to Qataris in general and businessmen in particular, as England is the first tourist destination for them, in addition to the selection of Qatari students to the United Kingdom. Sheikh Hamad also directed his question to Mr. Ranil about any developments in the tax system in the Kingdom, especially after the European Union imposed more taxes. In this regard, Mr. Ranil confirmed the stability of the tax system and even considered it among the best in the European continent, adding the Kingdom's interest in developing aspects of cooperation with its partners, especially in the industrial and technological sector.

Mr. Simon Penny added that the United Kingdom seeks to strengthen economic relations to match with the ambition and levels of development witnessed by both countries, and to open up prospects for cooperation in various aspects to include all sectors, especially the industrial sector, stressing out his aspiration to work, cooperate and discuss new ideas, especially that the Qatari private sector today was able to achieve its true potential.
At the end of the meeting, QBA members stressed their keenness to visit the United Kingdom soon when conditions prevail and support all efforts made to increase cooperation between the two countries. Sheikh Khalid bin Thani Al Thani, QBA Second Deputy, presented a souvenir to the UK Minister, wishing that the covid crisis would end soon and the business returns to normal.