Posted on October 30, 2014
HE Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani said that the United Kingdom is one of the main attractions for Qatari investment. Qatari investments were more than GBP30 Billion, added HE the Minister. Speaking at the opening of the Qatar-British Economic Forum, HE the Minister of Economy said that the country's strategy of diversifying the economy represents a valuable opportunity to British businessmen. His Excellency highlighted the strong bilateral relations in the field of investment.
On the forum, HE the Minister expressed his hope that it would produces valuable outcomes that helps enhance growth and sustainable development for the coming generations. HE the Minister touched on Qatar's National Vision 2030, which aims at diversifying the economy and reducing reliance on oil and gas revenue, noting that in light of that strategy, the state has opened the door for the private sector to work as part of the strategy and become a real partner in the Qatari national economy. HE the Minister noted that there were plenty of large projects for the private sector to contribute in.
He highlighted Qatar's strong growth prospects, mainly due to its Hydrocarbon exports. The country has the third largest natural gas reserve in the world, worth more than $17 trillion. The country's investment in the field of producing LNG made it one of the pioneers of the field, he said. HE the Minister added that the Qatari GDP grew at an average of 11.9% between 2008 and 2013, raising the Gross Domestic Product to $200 billion, noting that the country's strategy to diversify the economy paid dividend as non-oil business activities represent half of Qatar's GDP.
HE the Economy and Trade Minister affirmed that development of the infrastructure is considered as a basic foundation for achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030, noting that Qatar is witnessing implementation of great projects worth $ 200 billion such Lusail City which would accommodate approximately 200,000 persons in addition to 170 ,000 employees, at a cost of $45 billion. HE the minister added that the new Hamad International Airport clearly reflected the state's determination to invest in a world-class transportation design, which represents a pioneering model in the world in accordance with international quality standards .
He also $ 7.4 billion allocated for constructing Doha Port, which is considered as one of the largest construction projects of its kind in the world stressing that it was designed to help Qatar to implement its objectives to strengthen trade relations with all countries worldwide. HE the Minister explained that the Qatar's national rail network worth $ 25 billion, in addition to $ 10 billion allocated for Doha City Metro which will ensure geographically communication and connection of Doha residents, saying maintenance and construction currently being made at highways are totaling $ 23 billion for developing, paving and renewing over 550 kilometers of roads improvements.
He stressed that everyone knows that the State of Qatar on its way to host 2022 FIFA World Cup and that this event is not an objective in itself, but is it a mean to achieve this greatest goal, namely, the achievement of Qatar National Vision 2030 and of course.
He asserted that the World Cup represents an additional catalyst to the giant projects so the focus was on the completion of the construction of stadiums, such as Lusail City stadium, which will host the final matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a matter which emphasize further evidence of Qatar's natural complementary of the infrastructure projects based on sharp planning vision and unique architectural models along with a focus of the state to carry out special accommodation projects for the large crowd that will be present in Doha to watch this global event.
HE the Minister of Economy and Trade Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani praised the strong relationship between the United Kingdom and Qatar. The UK is fourth on the list for biggest imports into the State of Qatar. Imports in 2013 alone were nearly $2 billion. Trade volume last year was $5.2 billion. On the other hand Qatari exports to the UK show strong gains; it jumped from $1 billion in 2008 to $4 billion in 2012. The energy sector represents 98% of Qatar's exports to the United Kingdom, led by LNG. The State of Qatar is capable of supplying the United Kingdom with 20% of its LNG and electricity needs. HE the Minister referred to the Centrica's deal to renew a $7 billion contract with the State of Qatar to import LNG until 2018.
HE the Minister then reviewed the United Kingdom's contribution to the Qatari economy, noting that there are 79 British companies operating in Qatar with 100% of its capital being British and there are 457 more that have joint British and Qatari capital. HE the Minister encouraged British businessmen to invest in Qatar, highlighting how the country is rated as one of the strongest 16 economies in the world, and the 12th in the world in term of peace and stability.
HE the Minister said that foreign companies can invest in various economic sectors in Qatar in accordance with investment laws. The State cut taxes to 10% annually, with a possibility of a six-year tax exemption, he said, adding that the country is looking to take further steps to encourage foreign investment. HE the Minister noted that the State of Qatar allows foreigners to own 100% in strategic areas in sectors such as industry, health, education and tourism. Additionally, the State of Qatar allows, unlike many other countries, companies to transfer 100% of its profits. His Excellency added that there were no income tax nor added value tax, HE the Minister said.