Never mind Brexit, trade goes on...

Fri, April 7th, 2017

UK doubles export finance to Qatar to £4.5bn

Brexit may be dominating the political agenda, but while the politicians talk, businesses on the ground will be getting on with what they do best.

Accessing global markets isn’t something that is starting in two years. The the time to grow international trade is right now and experts at Liverpool & Sefton Chamber of Commerce are here to help you.

In the last few days the UK Government has offered a boost to those firms trading, or keen to start trading, in the Middle East.

Trade Minister Liam Fox has said the amount of export finance available to support trade with Qatar will double, to around £4.5bn.

Mr Fox said: “No trade between the UK and Qatar should fail for lack of finance and insurance.

“That is why the UK government can give buyers and sponsors in Qatar attractive long-term finance to make sourcing from the UK more competitive.”

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser al Thani said Britain had always been, and would continue to be a preferred destination for Qatari investment.

According to the Department for International Trade, Qatar is a relatively small country, but one of the richest in the world with a very high GDP.

This affluent market with its growing population offers opportunities for UK businesses across a wide range of sectors.

Qatar has one of the most ambitious infrastructure programmes in the world. It plans to invest up to $220bn in infrastructure over the next seven years. Many of these projects are as a result of Qatar hosting the 2022 football World Cup.

Benefits for UK businesses exporting to Qatar:

• English is widely spoken and is the main business language
• there are strong UK-Qatar cultural and historical ties as many Qataris have studied in the UK, have UK homes and visit regularly
• there is considerable capital spending by the Qatari government on education, healthcare, infrastructure and transportation
• it is expected to have the highest real growth in the Gulf Corporation Council region over the next few years
Other things to consider when you are doing business in or with Qatar include:
• that you will need a local sponsor
• a requirement for 51-49% partnership split in favour of Qatari national, giving the greater risk to the foreign company
• the levels of bureaucracy
• that foreign investment is restricted in some sectors
• a lack of transparency in the market especially in relation to government procurement
• preferential treatment given to suppliers using local content in government procurement
• payment delays

Liverpool & Sefton Chamber can help with information on things such as ERDF funding to support trade missions, export documentation and carnets, which allow a businesses to take equipment and products overseas for a short period without incurring import duties.

Contact the Chamber’s international trade team today on 0151 227 1234.

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