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Qatar pledges £10bn investment in key UK sectors

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at Downing Street in London Reuters/Toby Melville
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at Downing Street in London
  • Boris Johnson and Sheikh Tamim meet in Downing Street
  • Money will create jobs in fintech and cyber security
  • UK commits to aiding security at World Cup

The UK and Qatar have signed a new Strategic Investment Partnership which will see Qatar invest up to £10 billion over the next five years in key sectors of the UK economy including fintech, zero emissions vehicles, life sciences and cyber security. 

Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, welcomed the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, to Downing Street yesterday for discussions on driving economic growth and addressing global challenges together.

“[The] announcement of up to £10bn in new investment from our Qatari friends is another vote of confidence in the UK’s brilliant businesses and cutting-edge industry,” Johnson said.

“The new UK-Qatar Strategic Investment Partnership will create quality job opportunities across the country in key sectors, delivering on our vision of economic growth through trade and investment,” said Johnson. 

UK-Qatar trade was worth £4.8 billion last year and Qatari investment in the UK economy is already estimated to be worth over £40 billion, supporting jobs and growth across the country.

The prime minister and the emir also had a wide-ranging discussion on geopolitical issues. They were united in their condemnation of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and discussed issues of regional security, including relations with Iran.

“Qatar is a valued partner for the UK, supported by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad’s leadership,” Johnson said.

“We had a rich discussion on the issues that matter to both of our countries, including boosting the economy, ensuring regional stability and improving energy security following Russia’s appalling invasion of Ukraine.”

Lord Grimstone, the UK minister for investment, said: “It is excellent news that Qatar is targeting up to £10 billion investment into the UK through our new Strategic Investment Partnership.

“Not only will it boost local economies and support jobs, but it supports our green economy and decarbonisation – crucial in meeting our net zero targets.

“It also strengthens our relationship with Qatar ahead of our UK-Gulf Cooperation Council trade negotiations.” 

Kwasi Kwarteng, UK secretary of state for business and energy, also signed an agreement on energy cooperation with Qatar’s minister of state for energy affairs at Downing Street. 

Qatar is a major energy supplier for the UK, providing 40 percent of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) – the new memorandum of understanding (MoU) commits the two countries to work together to boost innovation and collaboration, supporting the security of global energy supplies.

“I am delighted to further the UK’s energy cooperation with Qatar as we work to stabilise international energy markets and boost energy security in the context of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine,” Kwarteng said.

“Qatar is already a valued trading partner, recently investing in the future of British low-carbon nuclear technology through the Rolls Royce consortium developing small modular reactors.” 

The prime minister and emir also discussed the upcoming 2022 Qatar World Cup this winter, and the UK committed significant new military and counter-terrorism support for the safe running of the event.

A joint UK-Qatar Typhoon Squadron will provide additional air security and the Ministry of Defence with advanced venue search training and operational planning support.

Johnson also confirmed that the UK will ensure Qatari nationals can access the UK’s new electronic travel authorisation system from early 2023, facilitating easier travel for business visitors and tourists.