Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Editor’s Pick

Trade Secretary lands in Saudi Arabia to kick off talks on £33bn UK trade deal with six Gulf states

The UK economy could receive a boost of up to £1.6bn a year via a trade deal with six Gulf stations. Talks on such an agreement kick off today with a meeting in Saudi Arabia.

Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan will meet representatives of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) in Riyadh to begin negotiations on a deal with the bloc.

Trade between the UK and the GCC – which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – is already worth £33.1 billion, making it the UK’s seventh largest trading partner, and the bloc’s demand for international goods and services is expected to increase 35 per cent in the next 13 years.

Trevelyan said: “This trade deal has the potential to support jobs from Dover to Doha, growing our economy at home, building vital green industries and supplying innovative services to the growth.”

But Paul Nowak, deputy general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, warned against the move on account of the Gulf states’ “appalling” human rights record.

The UK is expected to pursue cuts to tariffs on British exports to the Gulf, particularly in the food and drink sector. UK food and drink exports to GCC countries were worth £625 million in 2021.

Key role for hi-tech

The Government will also seek to improve access for hi-tech industries including green technology to help the GCC transition away from reliance on fossil fuels.

This could include reducing the 15 per cent tariff on UK wind turbine parts in order to help the UAE reach its target of generating 50 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

Stephen Phipson, chief executive of manufacturers’ organisation Make UK, said: “We welcome the launch of free trade negotiations with the Gulf Co-operation Council, strengthening trade opportunities which will ensure that British manufacturing benefits from future positive flows of goods and services into the Gulf region.

“It is also extremely helpful that the UK and GCC are committee to work towards seeking the opportunities from ‘green innovation’, which will bring significant opportunities for Britain’s innovative renewable energy companies which are already leading the way in this area of global concern.”

Gender equality not a priority

But unlike recent trade deals with New Zealand and Australia, the UK is not expected to pursue agreements on advancing gender equality as part of its negotiation with the GCC, instead raising human rights issues through other avenues.

Negotiations will also look to increase investment opportunities between the UK and the Gulf, with GCC investments in the UK supporting more than 25,000 jobs in 2019 and the new deal expected to boost local economies in the North and the Midlands.

For the service sector, UK negotiators will seek to improve transparency and consistency of regulation, which has previously been a sticking point, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.

Sanjay Aggarwal, co-founder of small Liverpool-based exporter Spice Kitchen, said: “It’s so important for our business to be linking with the GCC and enables us to grow rapidly in exciting ways we never thought possible.

“We are in the process of identifying retailers in the Gulf, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

But Nowak said the Government should not “entertain” a deal.

“The Gulf states’ appalling record on human rights and workers’ rights is no secret. And yet the Government is rushing into trade talks, no questions asked,” he said.

“Banning trade unions, forced labour, severe exploitation of migrant workers and other labour rights abuses are all widespread – as are attacks on women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights and the oppression of marginalised communities.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS WASHINGTON D.C. — The United States is seeking to form a coalition of countries to drive negotiations on a global...


Buildings are seen along EDSA in Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN By Diego Gabriel C. Robles  THE WORLD BANK (WB) upgraded...


Heavy traffic is seen on the southbound lane of EDSA in Cubao, Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN THE PHILIPPINE auto industry’s...


REUTERS THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) may deliver a second off-cycle rate hike in early November when the US Federal Reserve is expected...


Vendors arrange their goods at a public market in Manila. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSEL A. PALMA THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) is planning to...

Editor’s Pick

With the reversal of the 1.25% rise in National Insurance Contributions happening on the 6th of November, employers across the nation have an opportunity...

You May Also Like


BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...


KARASOLAR.COM TENA, Ecuador — Ecuador’s rainforest Achuar people say their ancestors long dreamed of a “fire canoe” or “electric fish” that would let them...


REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...


COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...

Disclaimer: Respect, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.