- Talks start in Riyadh to agree a commerce take care of international locations protecting £33.1bn of commerce
- The UK food and drinks, manufacturing and renewable vitality sectors would profit from the brand new settlement between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council
- Historic deal would add at the least £1.6 billion a yr to the UK economic system and help new jobs in key industries
Commerce Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan is launching free commerce negotiations right now (Wednesday June 22) between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Equal to the UK’s seventh largest export market, demand for the GCC bloc’s worldwide items and companies is anticipated to develop quickly to £800bn by 2035, a rise of 35%, opening up big new alternatives for UK corporations.
A free commerce settlement would additionally open the door to extra funding from the Gulf, supporting and creating jobs throughout the nation.
On a go to to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Secretary of State will meet with the GCC Secretary-Normal, Dr. Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf, and his counterparts from the six GCC international locations, to begin talks which might be anticipated to culminate in a commerce deal price £1.6bn extra a yr to the UK economic system.
It’s the fourth main set of Free Commerce Settlement (FTA) negotiations launched by the Commerce Secretary this yr, following visits to begin talks in India in January, Canada in March and the launch of negotiations with Mexico final month. .
UK Commerce Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan mentioned:
Immediately marks the following vital milestone in our 5-star enterprise yr as we deepen the UK’s shut relationship with the Gulf.
Our present enterprise relationship was price £33.1bn within the final yr alone. From our unbelievable British food and drinks to our excellent monetary companies, I am excited to open up new markets for UK companies, large and small, and to help the over 10,000 SMEs that already export to the area.
This commerce deal has the potential to help jobs from Dover to Doha, develop our economic system at house, construct very important inexperienced industries, and convey revolutionary companies to the Gulf.
The UK-GCC deal would imply vital advantages for British farmers and producers, because the Gulf depends closely on imported meals. British food and drinks exports to GCC international locations had been price £625m final yr, and a deal might considerably cut back or take away tariffs on UK food and drinks exports.
Tariffs that might be lowered embody cereals, which presently face a tariff of as much as 25%; chocolate, as much as 15%; bakery merchandise, as much as 12%; candy cookies, as much as 10%; and smoked salmon, which presently has a 5% tariff.
With practically £30bn already invested in one another’s economies, this deal would additionally assist unlock much more funding alternatives between the UK and GCC international locations.
Investments within the gulf supported greater than 25,000 UK jobs in 2019, a quantity that tripled over the earlier decade, and evaluation reveals the East Midlands, West Midlands, North East and Yorkshire and Humber will probably be in line for the most important proportional good points when the ink dries. a brand new deal The deal can also be estimated to spice up the economies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire by practically £500m collectively.
Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK, the producers organisation, mentioned:
We welcome the launch of free commerce negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council, strengthening commerce alternatives that may guarantee British manufacturing business advantages from future constructive flows of products and companies to the Gulf area.
It’s also extraordinarily useful that the UK and the GCC are dedicated to working to pursue ‘inexperienced innovation’ alternatives, which can convey vital alternatives for Britain’s revolutionary renewable vitality corporations who’re already main the way in which on this space. of worldwide concern. We stay up for working with the federal government to make sure that producers giant and small can profit from the enterprise alternatives this settlement will open up.
Round 10,700 small and medium-sized companies from all UK nations and areas exported items to the GCC in 2020, with SMEs accounting for over 85% of all UK items exporters to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates United Arabs.
Co-founder and director of Spice Kitchen, a Liverpool-based export SME, Sanjay Aggarwal mentioned:
We got here to Gulfood with DIT on a analysis mission, and due to this, we all know there’s a large marketplace for our merchandise, like our particular person spice tins and spice blends, within the premium present house.
Linking our enterprise with the GCC is so necessary and permits us to develop quickly in thrilling methods we by no means thought doable. We’re within the means of figuring out retailers within the Gulf, together with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
A powerful buying and selling relationship would enable the UK to construct on our strengths as a producing powerhouse and a world chief in know-how, cyber, life sciences, artistic industries, training, synthetic intelligence, monetary companies and renewable vitality.
UK corporations in these industries will even play a task in supporting GCC international locations as they diversify their economies away from oil dependence and into different sectors. The United Arab Emirates, for instance, has set a purpose of producing 50% of its electrical energy from renewable sources by 2050. Exports of wind turbine components from the UK presently face tariffs of as much as 15%.
RenewableUK CEO Dan McGrail mentioned:
The worldwide transition to wash vitality contains international locations throughout the Center East trying to benefit from their wonderful renewable sources, corresponding to photo voltaic and wind energy.
As a world chief in wind, marine and inexperienced hydrogen vitality, we’re completely positioned to assist different international locations speed up their efforts to decarbonize their vitality techniques and to spice up our personal economic system by exporting all over the world.