Posted on March 31, 2017

Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum held over the past two days in London and Birmingham has resonated widely in British political and economic circles.

In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Dr. Catherine Raines, Undersecretary of the British Ministry of International Trade, confirmed the success of the Forum in consolidating the distinguished economic and trade relations between Qatar and the United Kingdom. Raines stressed Britain's desire to become stronger to establish a distinct trade relationship with countries outside the European Union, especially after Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on the exit of her country from the European bloc. She pointed out that her country is an encouraging environment for Qatari investments, praising the advantages of establishing the business provided by the UK at the level of laws and services.

The British official said that Qatari companies can invest and make leaps from Britain, adding that in 2015, the UK exported 500 billion pound of goods and services. The United Kingdom is the world's first in the G-7 countries in cross-border banking services and that the British market represents the double of the US market in this area. In a related context, she pointed to the legal foundations set by Britain in the field of investment in order to facilitate the business environment, explaining that the current corporation tax rate is 20%, the lowest in the G-7, while in April it will be about 19%.

Raines revealed the UK's intention to provide further discounts and tax exemptions in the coming period, pointing out that this will give greater incentive to Qatari companies wishing to invest in the United Kingdom. For his part, the Director General of the Institute of Directors in UK Stephen Martin affirmed the great successful of the forum that gives the opportunity to the British companies wishing to invest in the state of Qatar to know about the nature of the Qatari market. Martin stressed that British companies will change their destination after Britain's exit from the European Union and will seek to reach new markets and new partners in the State of Qatar and other countries around the world.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of Al Rayan Bank (one of the largest Islamic banks in Britain) Sultan Choudhury praised the success of the forum in bringing together senior officials, decision-makers and businessmen in Qatar and the UK to discuss the strengthening of economic relations between the two countries. He said that Al Rayan Bank has made a lot of profits in 2016 worth 1.4 billion pounds. On the second day of the Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum, British Prime Minister Theresa May emphasized the strength and depth of the two countries' relationship in all fields, pointing out that she will seek to strengthen economic relations with Qatar and all GCC countries in the light of Britain's openness to the world after the exit from the European Union.