Global Britain is on the rise and, since taking back control of our trade policy, we have begun securing trade deals and forging deeper economic ties with new fast-growing markets.
As we establish ourselves as a truly independent free trading nation once again, it is important we diversify our trade routes and take advantage of new opportunities around the globe.
This week, I met the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, H.E. Dr Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf, to discuss the progress of the Joint Trade and Investment Review (JTIR) so far, and formally establish the terms of reference for the project that we agreed to undertake earlier this year.
The review marks a significant moment in our longstanding relationship with the region and will help us better identify existing trade barriers, strengthening bilateral trade and investment ties in the years ahead between the United Kingdom and GCC countries.
The Joint Trade and Investment Review will:
- Assess the current state of our trade and investment relationship.
- Help identify new opportunities to remove trade barriers and make it easier for our countries to do business.
- Enhance future trade cooperation in areas of shared interest to broaden and deepen bilateral trade and investment.
Progress to date has been promising and we have already held numerous Ministerial meetings and official level working groups – and engaged businesses to hear their views.
The Gulf is one of the United Kingdom’s largest export destinations, with our total exports to GCC Member States worth over £30 billion last year.
As a bloc, the GCC is our third largest non-EU export destination behind just the US and China; Gulf states are undertaking an ambitious economic diversification, which highlights the opportunities available to businesses across Britain.
It is clear that, as we look to establish a truly global Britain and recover from the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we must seize new opportunities. Now is the time for the United Kingdom and the GCC to build on our historic and deep friendship, to develop even closer economic ties, deliver new investment, create jobs and bring prosperity to our people.
This article was published on LinkedIn on 05/11/2020.