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British construction and consultancy firms are planning to advance their Qatar expansion plans in 2013 as the Gulf country gets ready to award a tranche of major infrastructure projects, according to Middle East company formations specialist The Links Group.
The company hosted a delegation alongside UK business forum Middle East Association in Doha, and has said interest in the country has ramped up as many of its major construction projects move from the concept stage into reality. It points out that major contract awards are expected to reach between $25bn-$30bn over the next two years.
The Links Group’s Qatar general manager Wayne Merrick said: “All the delegates I met know that Qatar offers one of the most buoyant projects markets in the world, but have in the past been deterred from setting up a foreign entity here because of concerns over local partner ownership and investor protection.”
In Qatar, companies require a local partner who owns a 51% stake in the venture, but The Links Group states that its model of ensuring local ownership is held by a corporate entity rather than an individual leads to greater transparency and stakeholder protection.
“UK firms bring to Qatar exceptional project management expertise, engineering prowess, legal expertise and education leadership. We are hopeful The Links Group will be able to help UK firms to expand to Qatar in order to take advantage of the vast opportunities in the country,” he added.
Middle East Association director-general Matthew Smith said: “I am delighted to be assisting delegates to develop their business here, building on the strong relations between the two countries and the high regard in which British products and expertise are held.”