GCC and UK Pursue Free Trade Agreement for Stronger Economic Ties
The UK and the GCC are now in the midst of talks to establish a free trade deal that would strengthen their economic links.
Consolidating Gulf-British Relations
In discussions with the heads of GCC diplomatic missions in the UK, GCC Secretary General Jasem Al Budaiwi emphasized the importance of the current negotiations.
Strategic Partnership with the UK
Al Budaiwi emphasized the crucial role of the United Kingdom as a strategic partner for GCC countries. He expressed the belief that a free trade agreement would not only solidify relations but also open up new horizons, particularly in economic, trade, and investment aspects.
Progress in Negotiations
The GCC has conducted five rounds of negotiations with the UK, showcasing the commitment of both parties to reaching a mutually beneficial agreement. The GCC negotiating team is actively addressing obstacles to ensure the successful conclusion of the negotiations.
Enhancing investment mechanisms
The Secretary General underlined the importance of establishing mechanisms to increase and protect investments, providing multiple avenues for entry into British markets. Simultaneously, GCC countries aim to create opportunities for British goods within their own markets.
Upcoming Meeting with the UK Secretary of State for Trade
Al Budaiwi is scheduled to hold a comprehensive meeting with Kimmi Badenoch, the UK Secretary of State for Trade and Business Affairs. The agenda will include discussions on resolving any remaining obstacles to progress towards the finalization of the free trade agreement.
UK's Commitment to Success
Kimmi Badenoch expressed the UK's keen interest in ensuring the success of the negotiations, emphasizing the importance of signing the free trade agreement with the GCC promptly.
Shared Commitment to Progress
At the end of the sessions, both sides agreed that the negotiations must move quickly to accommodate the joint interests of the GCC and the UK.
Economic Opportunities and Bilateral Trade
At a watershed moment in the history of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the British government recognized the enormous economic potential of a free trade agreement. Recent estimates put the value of all transactions between the two parties at £61.5 billion ($78 billion).