Saudi Arabia has an important role to play in the hydrogen economy: CEO of Siemens Energy
MANAMA: The UK and the six Gulf Cooperation Council states have started preliminary talks on a free trade deal, Bahrain said, as London seeks to strengthen its trade position after Brexit.
“It brings me great joy and pleasure to officially announce the official launch of FTA negotiations between the GCC countries and the UK today,” Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani said on Friday evening. , Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Bahrain.
This is “an initiative on which we have worked tirelessly since the Kingdom of Bahrain assumed the presidency of the GCC earlier this year,” Al-Zayani said.
The UK already enjoys strong economic ties with GCC GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.
“We will collectively embark on a new chapter, which will consolidate our long-standing trade and investment cooperation and build on the solid foundations forged over the past centuries,” Zayani said.
Trade between the UK and the Gulf countries topped £ 30 billion ($ 41 billion) in 2020, according to the UK government.
“A trade deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council is a huge opportunity to liberalize trade with a growing market for UK businesses and deepen ties with a region vital to our strategic interests,” said the Trade Secretary international Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
“We want a modern, comprehensive deal that removes trade barriers to a huge food and drink market and in areas like digital commerce and renewables that will create well-paying jobs in all parts of the UK “she said in a statement.
The talks on Friday marked the launch of what the UK government called a “14-week consultation calling on the public and businesses to share their views ahead of negotiations starting in 2022”.
Since leaving the EU, London has sought to strengthen its trade relations with partners such as the United States, Australia and the hydrocarbon-rich Gulf countries.