London to host Qatar Day on April 26
London will host Qatar Day on April 26 with special focus on developing fintech and Islamic finance on digital platforms, according to Peter Estlin, Lord Mayor of City of London.
Moreover, the event is expected to see some agreements being finalised in establishing tech incubators in Qatar not only in the field of financial services but also in health and energy sectors, possibly under the umbrella of the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).
Qatar Day has been developed over the last several months, he said, adding about 160 delegates from the UK, including top asset managers, governor of the central bank and chief executive of the London Stock Exchange are expected to participate.
“The focus on Qatar Day will be primarily fintech so as to encourage such UK-based entities wishing to expand into Qatar especially those wishing to help enhance digital economy (in Qatar) and also those interested in developing Islamic financial products on digital platforms,” said Estlin, who is a senior adviser to Barclays.
His visit comes as part of strengthening trade links between Qatar and the City of London. Qatar has already invested more than half of the £5bn it pledged to invest in the UK in 2017, and the visit will be an opportunity to explore further possibilities, the British Embassy in Doha had said.
Qatar Day, which is being organised in association with the UK’s Department of International Trade, seeks to promote the Qatar National Vision 2030 and will also touch upon the opportunities presented by 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“It will have sessions on how to develop the financial sector especially around fintech and Islamic finance and also the tech areas broadly. We also encourage some tech incubators to be set up here” (in Qatar), Estlin said.
The Lord Mayor, who is an international ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services sector, said Qatar Day has been structured in a way that it would cover several topics, especially considering that London is looking around sustainable infrastructure funding through Islamic and Green financing.
On the incubators, he said the UK has been quite successful in developing tech incubators and the idea is how to set up incubators within the QFC, targeted around three to four areas.
“We have given some ideas,” Estlin said, adding the idea is to encourage public private partnerships.
The QFC recently unveiled its multi-pronged strategy, focusing on new clusters such as digital, sports and financial services as part of enhancing its contribution to the local economy. Goals101 Data Solutions, India’s leading fintech and Big Data Technology platform, has opened its full-fledged office in the QFC.