Department for International Trade
UK prepares for trade deal with Gulf Cooperation Council
A fourteen-week consultation to seek views on a trade deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council begins.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has today kicked off preparations for a trade deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), launching a 14-week consultation calling for the public and business to share their views ahead of negotiations starting in 2022.
The GCC is already an important trading partner, with almost £22 billion of UK exports and bilateral trade worth over £30 billion in 2020. An advanced trade deal would takeour relationship to the next level in industries of the future such as digital trade, services and green growth - delivering higher-paying jobs across the country.
British business could seize new opportunities in areas like renewable energy and play a key role in helping a region that wants to move away from a reliance on oil. Financial and digital services companies, along with education and healthcare providers could also strengthen their position in a region that holds UK expertise in high regard.
Over £597 million of British food and drink exports headed to GCC countries last year, including lamb, biscuits and chocolate. Farmers and food producers could now benefit hugely from better market access to a region that imports virtually all its food and has high demand for top-quality British produce.
The UK is already a top destination for investment from GCC members and a trade agreement is expected to attract even more into world-leading UK industries such as renewable energy, infrastructure, tech and life sciences.
The Secretary of State is to hold a bilateral meeting in London with GCC Secretary General H E Dr Nayef Falah M Al-Hajraf and Assistant Undersecretary for Domestic and Foreign Trade, Hamad Bin Salman Al Khalifa, from the Bahrain Government, who hold the current rotating presidency of the GCC, to mark the beginning of the consultation.
Concluding in January 2022, it includes a questionnaire that will gather information from participants about their experiences and priorities when doing business with the countries in the GCC to ensure any deal reflects the country’s best interests.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
A trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council is a huge opportunity to liberalise trade with a growing market for British business and deepen ties with a region that is vital to our strategic interests.
We want a modern, comprehensive agreement that breaks down trade barriers to a huge food and drink market and in areas like digital trade and renewable energy which will deliver well-paid jobs in all parts of the United Kingdom.
International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena said:
The nations forming the Gulf Cooperation Council are, together, one of our biggest trading and investment partners and are home to over 50 million people.
From exports of Welsh lamb and Scotch beef, to biscuits from Belfast and financial services from the City of London, we are determined to strike a deal that will further cement our relationships, attract investment, promote trade opportunities and provide significant benefits for British business, creating jobs in communities across the country.
Paul Benton, Managing Director, International, Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), said:
As the economies of the region have matured and diversified in recent years, we have seen a significant demand for proven UK HealthTech, and enhanced trade opportunities with the region will only boost this further.
We look forward to engaging with the consultation, with the aim of supporting UK innovators to build lasting relationships with the GCC members, so that world-class HealthTech can reach more patients.
Latest News from
Department for International Trade
UK-Taiwan trade talks focus on green future22/10/2021 15:10:00
Twenty-fourth Annual UK-Taiwan Trade Talks promote bilateral relations in trade, renewable energy, education and technology
International Trade Week launched to support new exporters22/10/2021 11:20:00
Trade department support for exporters in week-long event taking place next month.
UK agrees historic trade deal with New Zealand21/10/2021 16:10:00
Prime Minister seals free trade deal with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern.
New Trade and Agriculture Commission launched with measures to boost farming exports21/10/2021 14:22:00
Ministers respond to recommendations from original Commission, making commitments on animal welfare and tackling antimicrobial resistance in trade agreements.
WTO Trade Policy Review of China: UK Statement21/10/2021 14:12:00
The UK's Ambassador to the WTO and UN in Geneva, Simon Manley, yesterday delivered this statement at the WTO Trade Policy Review of China on 20 October 2021.
International Trade Secretary opens the Global Investment Summit21/10/2021 11:20:00
Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, yesterday welcomed overseas investors and delegates to the Global Investment Summit in London.
Prime Minister's automotive roundtable: 19 October 202120/10/2021 13:24:00
Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with representatives of the automotive sector to discuss the UK’s electric vehicle revolution.
Prime Minister and Bill Gates launch £400m partnership to boost green investment20/10/2021 11:10:00
The strategic partnership with the Breakthrough Energy Catalyst will mobilise £200 million of private sector funding over 10 years.