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Prime Minister: Qatar at Important Stage of Achieving Sustainable Development

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Birmingham, March 28 (QNA) – HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani said that the State of Qatar is at an important historical stage in achieving sustainable development through the implementation of Qatar National Vision 2030 strategies and programs aimed at reducing dependence on oil and gas, achieving economic diversification and transforming into a knowledge based economy.

The State of Qatar has made significant strides in this area, HE the Prime Minister said, adding that the non-oil sector has grown to a high portion of the GDP of 2016. We were very pleased to sign with the UK Prime Minister an MoU for the 2030 Strategy yesterday, to enhance strategic action with the UK.

He conveyed the condolences of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the victims of the recent terrorist incident in the United Kingdom and His Highness’s assertion of the State of Qatar’s solidarity with the friendly United Kingdom in all measures it takes to counter terrorist acts and to preserve its security and stability.

He added that the State of Qatar values the historical and unique bilateral relations with the UK which initiated years ago and continues to work towards strengthening and developing those relations in all political, economic, investment, military and cultural fields.

HE the Prime Minister confirmed that organizing the Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum proved that Qatar values these relations, adding that Qatar looks forward to more cooperation relations with the UK to continue the process of diversifying and developing of the Qatari economy.

He explained that since the last forum in 2012, the relations witnessed many developments which have pushed for organizing this year’s forum in order to push the strategic partnership towards new aspects of cooperation, seeking to accelerate the process of building a knowledge-based economy. Qatar also looks forward to increase partnership with the UK in its upcoming new exciting start.

As we look forward to more contributions from British companies in the Qatari economy, I would like to point to the important role of British companies in the development of the Qatari economy over the past decades, as they have strongly contributed to the booming oil and gas industry and other economic fields.
HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani pointed out that Qatar currently has more than 200 British companies in the energy, education, construction, banking, advisory and other sectors. Qatar’s exports to Britain reached GBP 1.5 billion, while imports reached 1.1 billion pounds in 20
In this context, HE the Prime Minister said that the UK is one of the biggest destinations for Qatari investments, with over GBP 40 billion in various areas of the British economy, contributing to increased growth and job creation.He pointed that Qatar will invest approximately GBP 5 billion in the British economy through investment funds and agencies and the competent authorities in Qatar over the next three years to be another addition to its successful investments in the UK, stressing that the new investments will be in all parts of the Kingdom, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. His Excellency said that in recent years, Qatar’s economy has been one of the best performing economies in the world, with an average GDP growth rate of 6% between 2010 and 2016. 
He said that despite the sharp drop in oil and gas prices over the past two years and the current price outlook at low levels compared with previous years, Qatar has achieved good growth rates thanks to its efforts in diversifying economic activities and increasing the efficiency of public spending. The Qatari economy is expected to grow by 3.5% in 2017, His Excellency added. 
HE the Prime Minister affirmed that the State of Qatar will continue to implement major infrastructure projects in the key sectors of education, health and transport, as well as projects related to hosting the 2022 World Cup. He added that these projects provide significant and remarkable opportunities to advance and enhance cooperation between our two countries through expand British companies’ contribution to the development of the Qatari economy and building new partnerships with Qatari companies, and that there are also significant opportunities for co-operation in the management, operation and support of these projects. Our quest for a knowledge economy requires a distinct level of education, research and training, and the UK is known to be a leading country in this field. 
The business and investment environment in Qatar offers significant advantages to foreign companies operating in the country, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani said, pointing to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Rankings, in which Qatar ranked first in the world’s tax payment index in 2016 and 2017. He pointed that in the past few months, the State of Qatar has taken important measures to strengthen the business and investment environment in order to promote growth in non-oil sectors and support the private sector to expand its role in the national economy. 
Also, work is under way to develop laws and legislation to facilitate procedures for granting and renewing various types of commercial and industrial licenses, in addition to developing and expanding industrial and logistic zones. These actions will facilitate cooperation and joint ventures between Qatari and British companies in the future. 
Concluding his speech, HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani thanked the audience for attending and participating in this forum, saying “I hope that our discussions today and the outcome of this forum will strengthen the relations between the State of Qatar and the United Kingdom in all fields”. (END) 

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