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Lister: Next 12 months are crucial for UK and UAE trade relations

Trade ties between the UAE and UK are deepening with more talks Twitter/UAE-UK Business Council
Trade ties between the UAE and UK are deepening with more talks

The UK can use the UAE as a “springboard” for global trade, says Lord Udny-Lister, co-chair of the UAE-UK Business Council.

A third round of negotiations for a free trade agreement between the UK and GCC is set to take place in the Saudi capital Riyadh early next year, following talks in London three weeks ago in which 29 policy areas were discussed.

In an exclusive column for AGBI, the former advisor to ex UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed the importance of the next 12 months for trade and investment relations between Britain and the UAE.

“As the UAE continues to build its network of Cepa (comprehensive economic partnership agreement) partners, with 26 new deals planned for the next seven to eight years, British companies might examine how they can harness such agreements by using the UAE as a springboard for capturing new business opportunities in Cepa markets, such as Israel, India and Indonesia, utilising the UAE’s ports and free zones as transhipment points.”

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE minister of state for foreign trade, said the Cepas signed with India, Israel and Indonesia in the first half of 2022 will help grow the national economy by 2.6 percent by 2030.

According to latest figures from the UK’s Department of International Trade, total trade in goods and services between the UK and the UAE was £15.1 billion ($18.3 billion) in the four quarters to the end of Q2, an increase of 31 percent on the previous 12 months.

Of this, total UK exports to the UAE amounted to £9.2 billion, up 15.5 percent, while total UK imports from the UAE reached £5.9 billion, a rise of 65.7 percent. 

The UAE was the UK’s 23rd largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q2, accounting for 1 percent of total UK trade.

To read the entire exclusive column from Lord Udny-Lister, click here.