By Daniel Hunter
All eyes will be on London this month as it hosts the 2012 Olympic Games. But for Britain’s construction sector, the opening of the Games signals the end of its home market spike.
With the UK now facing economic stagnation, attention is turning to the world’s fastest growing economy, Qatar. Over the next decade the Gulf state will develop US$140 billion worth of major projects in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
For British companies wanting to tap these lucrative opportunities, MEED’s Qatar Infrastructure Projects conference, being held in London from July 2-5, will outline how best to pursue the investment potential of this dynamic non-energy sector.
During the event, The Links Group — leaders in company formation in the Middle East for 10 years — will provide valuable insight to companies interested in entering the Qatari project market. According to The Links Group, setting up the right commercial presence in Qatar is paramount to succeeding in the local market, determining with whom and how a company trades.
John Martin St. Valery, founder and CEO of The Links Group, will present to delegates on July 4, the second day of the conference. Discussing successful strategies for setting up a business in Qatar, Martin St. Valery will dissect the options for establishing a commercial presence in the Gulf state, highlighting the benefits and pitfalls for each.
“We are very much looking forward to engaging with UK and European companies looking to capitalise on the many opportunities coming up in Qatar, and being able to participate in this exciting knowledge exchange about the Qatari market. The tight timeline for Qatar 2022 requires an urgent investment in international expertise, engineering excellence and manpower — all things the UK can easily export,” said Martin St. Valery.
Operating in Qatar since 2005, The Links Group has seen a significant increase in the number of enquiries — up by 50 per cent from last year — from organisations considering establishing a base in Qatar. As the country prepares for 2022, The Links Group anticipates unprecedented growth in British investments into Qatari infrastructure and foreign direct investments to surpass the country’s record of US$8.12 billion in 2009.
With sport being a central element to Qatar’s US$140 billion construction boom, investments will be mostly allocated to hotels, leisure, tourism, recreation, and infrastructure projects. While the conference will focus on Qatar’s planned mega projects, The Links Group says lucrative opportunities also abound for support services in each of these sectors.
In addition to its conference presentation, The Links Group will host a special pre-conference masterclass on July 2, on how to do business in Qatar. Led by Stuart Curtis, Managing Director of The Links Group, and Wayne Merrick, General Manager Qatar, the masterclass will provide international delegates with a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities, challenges and ways of doing business in the buoyant Qatari market. The masterclass will also include presentations from Edmund O’Sullivan, Chairman of MEED events; Alex Lambeth, Director at British Expertise; and Jason Majid, Corporate Partner at Clyde & Co Qatar.
“The masterclass session will explain the legal and regulatory framework for businesses in Qatar, how to effectively choose the right business vehicle, new developments in immigration and sponsorship and much more. We aim to highlight the immense potential for UK and other international businesses that are currently available in Qatar,” said Curtis.
Now in its second year, the MEED Qatar Infrastructure Projects conference will provide detailed information about all areas of Qatar’s non-energy economy as the country continues on its remarkable and comprehensive investment programme. The four-day event will be opened with a keynote by the Rt Hon. The Lord Marland, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and Chairman of the British Business Ambassadors (of UKTI). Attracting a power panel of expert speakers, the event is set to provide an unrivalled networking experience for UK companies looking to expand abroad.
To find out more on the vast opportunities in Qatar and how to capitalise in the Gulf, register for the Qatar Infrastructure Projects conference and connect with The Links Group for the ins and outs of the Qatari market.
Qatar Infrastructure Projects will take place July 2-5, 2012 at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in London.
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