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$45bn Qatar investments in UK, says minister

Qatari investments in Britain have exceeded £35 billion ($45 billion), the UK's Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Tobias Ellwood, announced yesterday.

Speaking to Qatar's Al-Sharq newspaper, Ellwood said that Doha was participating to the "most important and largest investment projects" in the UK, adding that it had "strong economic and trade ties with us [Britain]."

He pointed out that Qatar's exports to the UK amounted to £2.7 billion ($3.45 billion) in 2017, while the British exports to the Gulf state stood at £2.6 billion ($3.32 billion) during the same year.

"There are around 622 joint ventures between the two countries, here [UK] and in Qatar, in different fields, including energy, health, trade and education," Ellwood noted.

In March 2017, the two countries launched a joint event in the British capital London, dubbed "Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum", which paved the way for a new £5 billion ($6.4 billion) Qatari investment in the UK over three years.

READ: Former Barclays bosses face London trial over Qatari cash call

Doha has been exerting intensive efforts to diversify its investments, and expand and strengthen its foreign relations, especially on the economic level since its neighbours launched a blockade against it.

On 5 June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar, accusing the Gulf state of "supporting terrorism." Qatar denies the accusations.

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