In an effort to deepen the UK’s trading relationship with the Gulf states, Dr Liam Fox, the UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade, has visited Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to meet with senior government officials and investors.
As he presses ahead with informal discussions on future UK trade deals outside the EU after Brexit, Mr Fox has sought to highlight how deeper trade links with the Gulf should play a central role in the UK’s evolving trading strategy.
Britain and the intergovernmental Gulf Cooperation Council already have a strong trading relationship worth more than £22bn a year, with a hefty trade surplus for the UK. Mr Fox has indicated that he aims to strengthen this relationship. Speaking in Dubai yesterday, he said the UK had already prioritised 31 “big-ticket” exporting opportunities across the Gulf region. “This not only covers traditional industries such as oil and gas or defence and infrastructure, but emerging areas like life sciences and creative,” he said.
Mr Fox is expected travel elsewhere in the region this week, including to Saudi Arabia.