By Claire West

Minister for Business & Enterprise Mark Prisk is in Qatar today, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, leading a delegation of 12 British companies from the airport industry.

These companies have the expertise to design and develop airports from terminal to runway and from passenger and baggage handling to safety, security and marketing. They are interested in winning business in Qatar’s growing airport and aerospace sector, including plans to build a new $11 billion airport.

Minister Prisk said:

“As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Qatar’s ambition cannot be underestimated. Over the next five years, Qatar plans to spend $100 billion on infrastructure projects, including a $25 billion rail network and $20 billion on building new roads.

“Bilateral trade between the UK and Qatar has increased by 160 per cent to £2.2 billion in the last five years and, with Qatar set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there are opportunities for greater collaboration.”

The UK airports industry employs more than 100,000 people in the UK and is world-renowned for its skill in delivering prestigious airport developments including Beijing Terminal 3, Madrid Barajas, St Petersburg Pulkovo, Heathrow Terminal 5 as well as Dublin, Delhi, Quito, Toronto and Kuwait.

The Minister will also call on the Minister for Finance and Economy HE Mr Yousef Hussain Kamal, visit Qatar’s Science and Technology Park and tour the Williams Technology Centre.

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.

Qatar factfile

• Over the past five years, bilateral trade with Qatar has increased by more than 160% to £2.2 billion.
• The World Economic Forum’s 2010 Global Competitiveness Report named Qatar as the fastest-growing economy in the world (with growth of 18.5%) and the most competitive country in the Middle East & North Africa.
• Qatar is the UK’s third largest market in the GCC and the fourth largest in the Arab world.
• Qatar has invested some £10 billion in the UK in the past few years. Key investments include the Shard of Glass and shareholdings in Barclays, Sainsbury’s and the LSE.
• University College London will become the first European University to open a campus in Doha.
• Vodafone has won Qatar’s second telephone licence.
• Qatar’s successful bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup (the Middle East's first World Cup) will require approximately $USD 57 billion of investment in infrastructure development projects related to stadium construction, rail, roads and accommodation.
• More than 12,000 British nationals live in Qatar and around 40,000 British tourists visit every year.