The trip comes as the total trade between the UK and GCC reached a record high of £61.3 billion in 2022…reports Asian Lite News
UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch will hold talks to encourage the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Ministers to advance the UK’s ambitions for a modern, comprehensive trade deal as she visits Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week, according to a press release issued by the UK Embassy in the UAE.
Meeting her ministerial counterparts in each nation and new Secretary General of the GCC Jasem Al-Budaiwi, Badenoch will also speak with senior business leaders and investors to build on inward investment to the UK – currently worth more than £15.7 billion – delivering on the UK government priority to grow the economy.
Ahead of her visit, Kemi Badenoch said, “We already have a strong trade and investment relationship with the Gulf nations, but I am determined to strengthen this even further. The GCC represents an enormous opportunity for UK firms, whether it’s selling brilliant British food and drink products into new markets or offering new consumers for our flourishing digital trade and renewable energy sectors.”
She added, “I know my counterparts are as ambitious for this deal as I am, and I’m ready to match their ambition.”
The trip comes as the total trade between the UK and GCC reached a record high of £61.3 billion in 2022.
The UK began negotiations with the six-country bloc in 2022 and has completed three rounds of talks so far. Collectively, the GCC is equivalent to the UK’s seventh largest export market. Their demand for goods and services is expected to grow rapidly to almost £1 trillion by 2035 – an increase of over 75 percent.
This will open huge new opportunities for UK businesses, from food and drinks to cars and clothes – removing these types of tariffs as part of a trade deal will help to increase choice for GCC consumers, giving them access a greater range of UK products. This will help to create jobs across the UK, support businesses to expand and grow the economy.
A deal with the GCC will also play to the UK’s strengths as a global services superpower. Of the total, UK exports to GCC amounted to £36 billion, with more than half being services.
Pioneering green technology firms based across the UK are already taking advantage of the Gulf region’s pivot away from fossil fuels.