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Qatar Announces £5bn UK Investment During Next 3-5 Years

Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and Theresa MayIn a boost to UK’s economic prospects post Brexit, Qatar has announced that it will be investing nearly £5 billion in the country over the next three to five years. The Gulf state has already invested around £40 billion into the UK via the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) which is its sovereign wealth fund.

The fund has made several prominent investments including the Shard building, Harrods department store and a share in the London Stock Exchange. According to sources, the new investments will be to the tune of £200 million in assets related to energy, infrastructure, property and technology sectors. It is seen as a confidence-building measure as British Prime Minister Theresa May triggers this week, the two-year separation process from the European Union (EU).

Qatari prime minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani said that the QIA will also explore opportunities for investment outside London as a result of the pound’s depreciation. The announcements came as a part of an investment conference that was held by the UK Department for International Trade and the Qatari government.

Al Jazeera English

Hundreds of Qatari officials visited London and Birmingham as a part of the trip. Qatar’s finance minister, Ali Sherif al-Emadi, said that the Brexit was not a concern as its relationship with UK was not dictated by short-term profits.

In a statement Ali Sherif al-Emadi, said

Currently the UK is our first investment destination and it is the largest investment destination for Qatari investors, both public and private. We have more than £35bn to £40bn of investments already in the UK. The way we look at our investment in any market, and especially in the UK, it is a very long-term investment, so we don’t look at any cycles up or down

Emadi acknowledged that Brexit would be both a plus and a minus but pointed out that similar worries were put out during the financial crisis. He stated that he was convinced that Britain had a good future outside the EU.

Earlier Qatari promises to invest into the country haven’t always materialized. Qatar had entered into discussions in 2013 for investing up to £10 billion in projects such as the new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point. Instead it was China General Nuclear, a Chinese company that ended up becoming a minority investor into the project. Emadi clarified stating that the country’s promises may take some time to materialize and that the latest investment announcement should not be compared to the 2013 promise.

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