Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid has welcomed the news that the Department for International Trade (DIT) has today (22nd June) launched trade negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a group that includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Equivalent to the UK’s seventh largest export market, a trade deal with the countries would cover £33.1 billion of trade. More than 85% of total UK goods exporters to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are SMEs and the landmark deal would add at least £1.6 billion a year to the UK economy, as well as supporting new jobs in key industries.
Speaking about the negotiations, Paul Slevin, President, Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said: “A Financial Trade Agreement (FTA) will make it far simpler for the over 300 Welsh businesses that export to the region, many of which are our members.
“With goods worth nearly £500m exported from Wales to GCC countries in 2021, this is a hugely important step in growing our relations with the region and is significantly important to Wales.
“We already have a strong Welsh Government presence in the area and the Chamber are close to opening direct trade desks for the region, but a trade deal will certainly help our members and businesses to solidify the excellent relationship that they are building and create even more much needed jobs in the sector.”