As part of its post-Brexit economic consolidation plans, the UK has commenced negotiations on a six-country trade deal with member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), comprise Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman, all countries with whom the UK already shares close ties.
SurgeZirc UK understands that trade between the UK and the GCC member nations exceeded £30billion in 2020, and ministers have now opened preliminary talks to agree on a free trade deal potentially worth billions.
Cutting tariffs on key imports and exports including cars and crude petroleum will constitute a key aspect of negotiations.
“It brings me great joy and pleasure to officially announce the official launch of FTA negotiations between GCC countries and UK,” said Zayed bin Rashid al-Zayani, Bahrain’s minister of industry, commerce and tourism.
According to Al-Zayani, the deal was an “initiative that we have worked tirelessly on realising since the kingdom of Bahrain’s assumption of the GCC presidency at the beginning of this year”.
“We shall collectively embark on a new chapter, which will solidify our long-standing trade and investment cooperation and build upon the strong foundations forged over the past centuries,” he added.
Reacting to the announcement, 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.”
Meanwhile, the UK Government has initiated a “14-week consultation calling for the public and business to share their views ahead of full negotiations starting in 2022”.
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