By Claire West
Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk will begin a three-day visit to the Middle East today, to drive forward bilateral trade and investment relations with Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan.
Bilateral trade between the UK and the Gulf increased by nearly 20 per cent last year. In Qatar alone, bilateral trade has increased by 160 per cent to £2.2 billion in the last five years.
The Minister will lead a delegation of 12 UK companies interested in building new commercial partnerships in Qatar’s airport and aerospace sector. In Kuwait, he will learn more about the countries ‘mega projects’, and in Jordan he will look at opportunities in the oil shale sector.
Minister Prisk said:
“Markets across the Middle East have strong economies and ambitious growth and diversification plans to match. Whether it is infrastructure, healthcare, education, financial services or renewable energy, UK companies have the skills and expertise to help the region realise its development plans.
“My visit this week is to promote British companies as the global partner of choice across the region.”
The Minister’s visit follows on from the State visit to the Gulf in November and the State visit by the Emir of Qatar to the UK in October. During the visit, the Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Qatar’s Minister for Business and Trade to strengthen the existing strong and historic trade and investment relations between the two countries.