The UK has strengthened its relationship with its third largest trading partner in the Gulf by announcing two important agreements to boost trade and investment.

UK Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena met today in London with Qatar’s Trade and Industry Minister, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Thani. [24 August] endorse new partnerships at the third UK-Qatar Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO).

It comes after the launch of negotiations on a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GGC) in June. An agreement with the GCC is an opportunity to develop a comprehensive trading relationship worth £32.4 billion in 2020, removing barriers to trade and supporting jobs across the UK.

International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena said:

Qatar is an important trading and investment partner for Britain. I believe we must nurture and maximize the strength of our relationship to make our economies more resilient and prosperous.

We are committed to taking steps to further deepen the trade and investment relationship we share with Qatar, and today’s JETCO signals our ambition through two important agreements.

The two new MoUs include a new agreement between the Department of International Trade (DIT) and the Qatar Investment Promotion Agency, to help British companies enter the Qatari market. The collaboration will provide information to companies on strategic investment opportunities and provide advice on market entry options.

In addition to this, DIT has also opened up the UK export market to Qatar for the supply of vitamins and supplements, enabling Holland & Barrett to export these products to the country.

Nick Parker, Director of International Development, Holland & Barrett said:

Holland and Barrett’s mission is to make health and wellness a way of life for all and through our two franchise stores in Qatar we have been able to serve our customers there since 2015, but until present, our franchise partner has not been able to offer our own range. vitamins and supplements.

During JETCO, UK Export Finance (UKEF) signed a memorandum with Qatar Development Bank to boost efforts between UK and Qatari businesses by sharing expertise in export finance, insurance products and cooperation on projects involving both UK and Qatari goods and services.

The meeting of ministers concluded with the signing of a joint statement outlining commitments to address market access issues on both sides and to expand trade in a range of priority sectors, including healthcare and life sciences, education, food and beverage.

The next JETCO meeting will be hosted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the State of Qatar and will be held in Doha in 2023.