- Special Pages
Dr Sheikh Khalid bin Thani Al Thani, Second Deputy to the Chairman of Qatari Businessmen Association, with Lord Alderman Roger Gifford, the Mayor of London, yesterday.
DOHA: Qatari investments in the United Kingdom have increased yearly, and amounted over QR124bn as the energy-rich Gulf State owns several companies and investments in Britain, including stores “Harrods”, and 26 percent of the shares of stores “Sainsbury”, a statement issued by Qatari Businessmen’s Association (QBA) said yesterday.
Dr Sheikh Khalid bin Thani Al Thani, Second Deputy to the Chairman of Qatari Businessmen Association, yesterday hosted a senior British delegation headed by Lord Alderman Roger Gifford, the Mayor of the City of London, in the presence of British Ambassador Michael O’Neill and accompanying guests that included Sherrif Jeffrey Evans and Colonel Billy King Harman , at Sheikh Khalid’s Majlis at Al Gharrafa.
The Qatari-British relations witness rapid development, and an increase in bilateral investments. The volume of trade exchange has registered a rapid growth and reached £7bn (QR38.5bn) during six months, particularly between January and July 2012, according to the statement.
In addition, Qatar Investment Authority also owns 20 percent of the “Camden Market” in north London through its stake in the real estate investments company “Chelsfield”, and 95 percent of the Shard Tower, which is the tallest building in Western Europe and is characterised by its strategic location overlooking the Thames River.
The Business Luncheon with the UK delegation was attended by QBA board members Sheikh Hamad bin Faisal Al Thani, Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser Al Thani, Sherida Saad Jubran Al Kaabi, Dr Hussein Al Abdullah, Nabil Abu Issa, and Maqbool Habib Khalfan, in addition to Sarah Abdallah, QBA Deputy General Manager.
Gifford thanked Dr Khalid and QBA members for the warm welcome and explained the goal of his visit which aims at discussing opportunities for enhancing trade cooperation and the development of bilateral relations for the benefit of both countries.
He expressed the importance of the Qatari market for British companies, with increased investment opportunities with the giant development plan adopted by Qatar, in addition to the main goal of developing the infrastructure and diversifying country’s economy away from the oil and gas sector.
Welcoming the British delegation, Sheikh Khalid noted that the Qatari–British relations have strengthened significantly in recent years with the increase of Qatari investments in the UK.
QBA members discussed with the British counterparts the need to take advantage of the rapid growth of Qatar’s economy and seize investment opportunities in the state, while considering the experiences of British companies, including the oil and gas related, which have been present in the state since decades.