Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport
I visited Qatar today as part of wider efforts by the Welsh Government to develop closer business links with the country.
I attended and spoke at an event in Doha organised by the Welsh Government in conjunction with Cardiff Airport and Qatar Airways and supported by the UK Embassy. This was timed to coincide with the British Festival Qatar and provided a platform to promote Wales as a destination for investment as well as highlighting the opportunities arising from the daily flights between Doha and Cardiff scheduled to commence on 1 May 2018.
Wales has already reaped the benefits of Qatari investment. The LNG terminal at Milford Haven, which is owned by Qatar Petroleum, is a major contributor to the economy of west Wales. I met a number of local businesses to explore potential for further investment.
I also met senior representatives from Qatar Airways and was keen to understand how we can take advantage of the new flights to market Wales as a tourism and business destination in Qatar and more widely across Asia Pacific. In addition, I discussed the opportunities to strengthen trade links through increased freight handling arising from the daily service. This could be of benefit to Welsh companies who are already exporting, or are considering selling their goods and services, to this lucrative market.
The Doha to Cardiff flights, along with those to Birmingham and Manchester, have the potential to boost the Welsh economy as a whole and we need to work hard to maximise this opportunity.
I am grateful to the UK Ambassador and his staff for their assistance during my visit and look forward to their ongoing support as we prepare to open a new Welsh Government office in Qatar next year.