Bilateral trade between the UAE and the UK will likely triple to around $27.2 billion before the end of 2024, thanks to Brexit and a new credit agreement.
Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the federal export credit agency of the UAE, has joined hands with the UK Export Finance (UKEF) to drive the scale and scope of exports from both countries through special agreements and partnerships.
According to Massimo Falcioni, the chief executive officer of ECI, the purpose of this agreement is to initiate a dialogue between the countries to partner together on joint projects and build even stronger bilateral relations.
“With this new partnership, trade levels will be easily tripled within three years’ time … as Britain has left the European Union, it still needs to develop its export market and the UAE is a key player because of its historically strong links to the UK,” he added.
The UAE is the UK’s sixth-largest trading partner outside the European Union (EU) and its largest in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
Trade between the two countries totaled $26.1 billion in 2019, seeing more than a 6% rise from 2018. However, the number slightly dropped last year mainly because of the dip in energy-related exports from the UAE to the UK, which was a result of the Covid-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions and lockdowns.
“If a British company wants to reach Asia, Africa, and the rest of Middle East - the UAE is the best place for access...The UAE’s geographical position and our access to financial resources makes it easy for British SMEs to do business here...I am committed to supporting all of them to expand into these three market,” Falcioni stated.
After leaving the EU in 2020, the UK has been aiming to build new trade relationships with partners in other parts of the world and is laying the groundwork for a free trade agreement with the GCC region that consists of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
The GCC is the UK’s third-largest export market outside the EU, after the US and China. According to official figures, total trade in goods and services between the UK and the GCC was $63 billion in 2019.
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