During his visit, the Ambassador met with the Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language Eluned Morgan MS, to discuss opportunities for developing trade and business ties between Wales and Qatar as well as potential links through culture and education.
The Ambassador also met with the new interim CEO of Cardiff Airport, Spencer Birns and the Airport’s newly appointed Chair, Wayne Harvey. Qatar’s flagship airline Qatar Airways launched a 5* service in May 2018, linking the national airport of Wales to the hub at Hamad International Airport, Doha. Now in its second year, this vital route has created a new gateway to the UK for international visitors and opened Wales and the South West up to a wealth of global destinations. Flights are currently paused due to international travel restrictions linked to the Covid19 pandemic but are set to resume later this year.
While in Cardiff, the Ambassador also took part in an online discussion with members of the CBI across Wales and South West, The discussion focused on exploring new opportunities to generate import and export between the region and Qatar and also explored the potential to invest in the Wales and South West region with Qatari support - all of which has been complemented by launch of the Qatar Airways service.
Her Majesty's Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Mr Jon Wilks CMG, said: “I am delighted to visit Cardiff again, where I have long-standing family connections, and learn about the many exciting opportunities here and throughout Wales to develop trade and investment with Qatar. I hope to see the resumption of direct flights between Cardiff and Qatar very soon, and the development of this important gateway for Wales and the South West. As a result of this visit, I shall be advocating for Wales in Qatar with extra knowledge and confidence in the months ahead.”
Minister for International Relations, Eluned Morgan, said: “I was pleased to welcome the UK Ambassador to Qatar, Mr Jon Wilks CMG, to Wales today. We discussed opportunities to increase business links with Qatar which would provide economic benefit to Wales. The Qatar Airways flights between Doha and Cardiff have offered greater access to Qatar, as well as wider markets, and I look forward to these restarting as soon as possible.”
Wayne Harvey, Chair of Cardiff Airport added: “Today we’ve had the pleasure of meeting The British Ambassador to the State of Qatar at Cardiff Airport. There is a very important relationship between the region and the state of Qatar that has been boosted by the Qatar Airways service. We discussed the ways in which Her Majesty’s Ambassador can use the knowledge he has gathered on this visit and take it forward to fly the flag for Wales in Qatar, by supporting the development of Welsh business opportunities in Qatar and exploring the potential for Qatari investment in our region.”