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British firms poised to play key role in achieving Qatar’s 2030 vision, says envoy

British companies could play a vital role in helping Qatar succeed in its ‘Third National Development Strategy’ (NDS3), the final phase of the Qatar National Vision 2030, ambassador Neerav Patel has said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the recently launched ‘British Food Week’, which is currently running across LuLu Hypermarket outlets in Qatar, Patel emphasised Qatar’s clear stance in building “a modern, knowledge-based, highly skilled economy,” following the announcement of NDS3 in January this year.

“There are many British enterprises that are well-positioned to play a pivotal role in realising Qatar’s vision. The breadth of the trade in both directions ranges across defence, education, health, advanced manufacturing, technology and AI, science, culture, and sport. We are looking to expand our footprint across these fields, while simultaneously enhancing our existing partnerships,” the ambassador pointed out.

Similarly, while addressing a panel discussion with Dr Mohamed Althaf, director, LuLu Group International, held during the event, Patel noted that Qatar is in the top 10 destinations for British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), citing LuLu Group’s role in encouraging among British SMEs “a real appetite and desire to come to Qatar.”

“There’s a real match between supply and demand; British brands and businesses are emerging in sustainable, organic, and vegan spaces. There are so many new suppliers coming on stream in the UK and they’re finding a real demand here,” Patel explained.

On the broader Qatar-UK trade and economic ties, Patel said both nations share more than £7bn worth of trade in both directions.

“There’s more than £40bn of country investments in the UK officially, covering several sectors, such as aerospace, manufacturing, health, and education, among others. We’re also going into new areas, such as technology and AI and; of course, consumer and retail are at the heart of that.

“Most importantly, there are so many British businesses that want to come and trade with the country counterparts on those areas that are prioritised in the Third National Development Strategy and the Qatar National Vision 2030, including areas like logistics, data, AI, tech, and tourism,” the ambassador pointed out.

For his part, Althaf emphasised that the UK has emerged as a centre of culinary innovation, particularly in terms of plant-based proteins, functional food, healthy food, and dairy products, as well as sectors that cater to modern health and sustainability concerns.

“There is a lot of innovation that has happened in the UK and our partnership with them continues to deepen and expand with various universities and other institutions, allowing opportunities for synergy between education, research, and industry,” Althaf stressed.

Althaf also underscored LuLu’s world-class distribution centre in Birmingham, citing its forensic testing centre and halal certification facility, and how it ensures food and cultural needs are aligned.

Since its establishment in the UK two years ago, Althaf said, LuLu’s Birmingham distribution centre has been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Best International Trade. “It is a remarkable achievement, so I believe this has contributed a lot to expanding cultural relationships,” Althaf added.

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