By Max Clarke

Prime Minister David Cameron and Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani today agreed that their countries would aim to double bilateral trade from £2.2 billion to £4.4 billion by 2015.

With a growth rate of 18.5 per cent, Qatar is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Over the past five years, bilateral trade has increased by 160 per cent.

The Prime Minister is at the head of a delegation of business leaders touring the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council in order to promote the area for british Business, and to foster ralations to boost bilateral trade. Speaking today, Mr. Cameron said:

“Today’s agreement positions the UK as a key commercial partner for Qatar. Whether it is education, energy, science and technology or sport, UK firms have the expertise to help the Qataris realise their 2030 vision.

“It sends a strong signal to the Qataris that the UK is open for business. We welcome their investment, which can be a driver of growth at home in Britain.”

This week’s trade visit follows a series of high-level visits, including a State visit to Qatar in November and a visit to the UK by the Emir of Qatar in October. During this visit, the Qatar-UK Trade & Investment Forum was established. The first meeting will take place in the spring and will set a strategy for reaching the new trade targets.