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Qatar announces $6.28 billion investment in Britain

Britain's trade minister Liam Fox says Qatar's Emir has given a vote of confidence to the UK economy.

Qatar announces $6.28 billion investment in Britain

Britain's trade minister Liam Fox says Qatar's Emir has given a vote of confidence to the UK economy.

28 mart 2017 Tuesday 16:27
Qatar announces $6.28 billion investment in Britain

The Emir of Qatar has shown faith in the British economy, Britain's trade minister Liam Fox said on Tuesday after the wealthy Gulf state pledged it would invest 5 billion pounds ($6.28b) in Britain.

Qatar, the world's biggest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG), announced the investment on Monday.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who met the emir at the Gulf Cooperation Council last year, is due to formally begin the process of Britain's exit from the European Union on Wednesday.

"We will have an independent trade policy, giving us opportunity to forge deeper trade links with old friends and new allies," Fox told a Qatar-UK investment conference in Birmingham, central England.

"Qatar's emir has given a strong vote of confidence and faith in our economy."

The Gulf state currently has about 40b pounds ($50b) worth of investments in Britain and delivers 90 percent of Britain's imports of liquefied natural gas.

Qatar sees Britain's exit from the European Union as an opportunity to boost supplies of liquefied natural gas to the world's fifth-largest economy and is open to investing in British energy assets, Qatar's energy minister said. 

"The UK will have a new era post-Brexit ... The negotiations will start among Europeans and nobody is extremely clear about where the negotiations will lead to," energy minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said in an interview with the Reuters news agency late on Monday.

"However, we can sense the possibility of the UK's manufacturing power going higher, and with that the need for energy. For that, Qatar will always be there to supply the energy required. Certainly we can contribute to the UK's need."

Britain started receiving LNG from Qatar in 2008 via ships that dock at South Hook in Kent, one of Europe's largest LNG terminals, which is owned by Qatar.

"Europe is an important market. The UK is a very important market," Sada said.

Like other Gulf economies, Qatar is trying to restructure its economy to rely less on hydrocarbons. It faces rising competition in Asia from other LNG producers as new projects in the US and Australia come online in the next few years, and Doha has said it will focus on expanding contracts in Europe.

Aljazeera

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