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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

London Lord Mayor in Doha to push post-pandemic UK-Qatar trade

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This is a crucial moment for us all to boost global trade and economic growth, the London Lord Mayor said.

London’s Lord Mayor and ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services industry, William Russell is set to visit Qatar this week to strengthen trade links between the two countries.

The visit will be the Lord Mayor’s first trip overseas since the pandemic and the second to Qatar in 2020. 

“I am pleased to be visiting Qatar this week,” said Russell. “Together, we have a great opportunity to be leaders in building a more resilient, more digitalised and greener global economy, especially ahead of COP 26 in Glasgow next year,” he added.

Read also: Qatar trade volume with UK and EU reaches new heights

Russell is expected to meet with Minister of Finance Ali Al Emadi, CEO of Qatar Investment Authority Mansoor Al Mahmoud, and the Governor of Qatar Central Bank Abdulla Al Thani, as well as other high-level Qatari officials. 

The meetings aim to enhance trade ties and build stronger, more prominent economic relations between both countries. 

“This is a crucial moment for us all to boost global trade and economic growth as we build back better after the pandemic. Qatar is an important investment partner for the City of London and the wider UK,” he added.

“We have long-standing partnerships with Qatar’s financial institutions, and the City of London also stands ready to support Qatar as it develops its own financial services sector. “

The British official will be focusing on enhancing agreements in areas of green finance and technology, to ensure a better and cleaner trade. He added that with Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup just two years away, the UK’s financial services sector is “on hand to work to help deliver a successful and sustainable event.”

The Lord Mayor also praised Qatar National Bank’s issuance of a $600m Green Bond on the London Stock Exchange this September and said that he looks forward to following up on this initiative next week.

Russell has over thirty years of experience in economic and financial services. Apart from being ambassador for the UK’s financial industry, Russell is also the leader of London’s ‘Square Mile,’ or financial district.

Commenting on his visit, British Ambassador to Qatar Jon Wilks said that strengthening relations after the pandemic holds exciting opportunities for both countries. He also highlighted that the UK is enthusiastic to develop new partnerships with Qatar in green finance, health, technology, and the sports economy, among other sectors.

“The trade and investment relationship between Qatar and the UK has continued to grow in the past year despite coronavirus. That is because both countries are committed to building a strong partnership for the future,” Wilks added.

“I am delighted that The Lord Mayor William Russell has chosen a return visit to Qatar as his first official visit since lockdown.”

Earlier this week, Qatar Chamber also announced that although trade between the United Kingdom and Qatar has increased by 22% over the past two years, it has been dropping in recent months, with its value reaching $2.5bn at the end of the third quarter of 2020.

Qatari investments in the UK, which is on its way out of the European Union, currently stand at $47bn. 


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