UK and Gulf nations negotiate trade deal

(Photo: Pixabay)
MANAMA— The UK and the six GCC states have begun preliminary talks on a free trade agreement (FTA), Bahrain said, as London seeks to bolster its trade position post-Brexit.اضافة اعلان

“It brings me great joy and pleasure to officially announce the official launch of FTA negotiations between GCC countries and UK today,” Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Bahrain’s minister of industry, commerce, and tourism, said late Friday.
It is an “initiative that we have worked tirelessly on realizing since the kingdom of Bahrain’s assumption of the GCC presidency at the beginning of this year”, added Zayani.

The UK already enjoys strong economic links with the nations of the GCC, comprised of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
“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,” Zayani said.

Trade between the UK and the Gulf nations topped £30 billion pounds in 2020, according to the British government.

“A trade agreement with the GCC is a huge opportunity to liberalize trade with a growing market for British business and deepen ties with a region that is vital to our strategic interests,” said International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

“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 UK,” she said in a statement.

Friday’s talks marked the launch of what the UK government has termed a “14-week consultation calling for the public and business to share their views ahead of negotiations starting in 2022”.

Since its exit from the EU, London has sought to bolster trade ties with partners including the US, Australia, and hydrocarbon-rich Gulf countries.

Read more Business